Farley, Jim

Farley, (James Aloysius) Jim

(1888–1976) businessman, public official; born in Grassy Point, N.Y. He was a bookkeeper and company correspondent before he formed a building supplies company. His affable nature gave him a boost when in 1912 he began his career as a Democratic Party functionary. As he became increasingly prominent in New York State Democratic politics, he worked for Al Smith and then Franklin D. Roosevelt. He managed Roosevelt's first run for governor of New York and backed him at the 1932 and 1936 Democratic Conventions. He was rewarded with the positions of chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1932–40) and postmaster general (1933–40). He broke with Roosevelt in 1940 over the issue of a third term, and failing to get the Democratic nomination for himself, he went back to business. He was a board chairman of Coca-Cola Export Corporation (1940–73).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.