Robert Moses

Moses, Robert, 1888–1981, U.S. public official, b. New Haven, Conn. He was appointed (1919) by Alfred E. Smith to the committee to study and revamp New York state government machinery, became (1924) chairman of the state council of parks, and served (1927–28) as New York secretary of state until a disagreement with Gov. Franklin Roosevelt forced him from that position. In 1933 he declined the Fusion nomination for mayor of New York City, and in 1934 he was, as Republican candidate for governor, defeated by Herbert H. Lehman. As New York City park commissioner (1934–60) and head of the Triborough Bridge and New York City Tunnel Authority (1946–68), as well as in other municipal offices, Moses was responsible for reorganizing the department of parks and for planning new and improved highways, parks, bridges, and beaches. While he has been widely praised for many of his accomplishments, he has also been criticized for tearing down established neighborhoods and replacing them with soulless towers and expressways in a quest for urban improvement. His books include Working for People (1956).

See R. A. Caro, The Power Broker (1974); H. Ballon and K. T. Jackson, Robert Moses and the Modern City (2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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