Whalen, Grover (Michael Aloysius)(1886–1962) promoter, merchant, public official; born in New York City. His long business career included positions at John Wanamaker (1914–34), Schenley, and Coty. As the city's official greeter (1919–53), he originated ticker tape parades in staging welcoming ceremonies for, among others, Charles Lindbergh, the Prince of Wales, and returning soldiers from both world wars. He was a member of the New York-New Jersey Bridge-Tunnel Commission (1919–23); chairman of New York City's Board of Purchasing (1919–24); police commissioner (1928–29); and president of the group that organized the New York World's Fair of 1939–40.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.