VAN WYCK, Robert Anderson [1847-1918] -- American lawyer, politician
He was elected Judge of the City Court of New York, becoming thereafter Chief Justice. He resigned to accept the nomination for Mayor of Greater New York. He was elected by a very large majority, and thus became the first mayor of the greater city, under the new charter which created that office uniting the various boroughs.
As the first Mayor of Greater New York, he brought together innumerable municipal corporations, bringing order out of virtual chaos. He also caused to be constructed the first subway railway in Manhattan, and provided for construction of the Brooklyn [subway] tunnel.
He was a member and later president of the Holland Society.
[Descendants of Cornelius Barentse Van Wyck and Anna Polhemus]
New York politics was rife with graft and corruption, and Van Wyck was not above partaking from the trough. Indeed, his campaign slogan during his run for mayor was "To hell with reform." After his election, he made a two-sentence inaugural speech and no other public speech during his term.
Now considered to have been one of New York's worst mayors, all that didn't prevent the city naming a major expressway for him some 50 years later.
|First mayor of Greater New York|
|Ground-breaking for New York's first real subway|
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- NYC 100 -- NYC Mayors - The First 100 Years Upon his death, The New York Times remarked: "Van Wyck became involved in probably more scandals than any mayor in the city's history."
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- Sibling: ¤VAN WYCK, Augustus [1846->1910] American jurist