Walker, Jimmy

Walker, (James John) Jimmy

(1881–1946) mayor, songwriter; born in New York City. Having graduated law school, he was more interested in writing lyrics for popular songs (his only memorable one being "Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May?", 1905). Turning to politics, he got the support of the Democratic machine and by 1914 was serving in the New York state senate. From 1921–25 he was the leader of Democrats in the senate and so was picked to run for mayor of New York City. As mayor (1926–32) he supported an expanded transit system and created a department of sanitation, but he became best known for his dapper appearance and a lifestyle that embodied the Roaring Twenties. Despite his popularity, revelations of financial improprieties, both personal and in his administration, forced him to resign. In 1940, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who had lost to Walker in 1928, named him arbiter in garment industry disputes.