Austin J. Tobin

Last updated
Austin J. Tobin
Director of the Port of New York Authority
In office
1942–1972
Preceded byJohn E. Ramsey
Succeeded byMatthias Lukens
Personal details
Born(1903-05-25)May 25, 1903
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
DiedFebruary 8, 1978(1978-02-08) (aged 74)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Education College of the Holy Cross
Fordham Law School

Austin Joseph Tobin (May 25, 1903 – February 8, 1978) was an American businessman who served as the executive director of the Port of New York Authority, the precursor to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, from 1942 until 1972. [1]

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is a joint venture between the U.S. states of New York and New Jersey, established in 1921 through an interstate compact authorized by the United States Congress. The Port Authority oversees much of the regional transportation infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports, within the geographical jurisdiction of the Port of New York and New Jersey. This 1,500-square-mile (3,900 km2) port district is generally encompassed within a 25-mile (40 km) radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The Port Authority is headquartered at 4 World Trade Center and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Contents

Tobin is widely known for authorizing the construction of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001.

September 11 attacks Attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

Background

Tobin was born on May 25, 1903, to an Irish-American family in Brooklyn, New York City. He was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and Fordham Law School.

College of the Holy Cross United States historic place

The College of the Holy Cross, or better known simply as Holy Cross, is a private Jesuit liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1843, Holy Cross is the oldest Catholic college in New England and one of the oldest in the United States.

Tobin joined the Port Authority in 1927, where he served the first 15 years of his career in the law department. He started out as a law clerk, and was promoted to assistant general counsel in 1935. [2] In 1942, he was appointed as executive director of the Port Authority. [2] During his thirty years as executive director, the agency gained control of LaGuardia Airport, Idlewild (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport), and Newark Airport. He oversaw the development of the original World Trade Center, the creation of the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. [3]

Law clerk person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions

A law clerk or a judicial clerk is an individual—generally an attorney—who provides direct assistance and counsel to a judge in making legal determinations and in writing opinions by researching issues before the court. Judicial clerks often play significant roles in the formation of case law through their influence upon judges' decisions. Judicial clerks should not be confused with legal clerks, court clerks, or courtroom deputies who only provide secretarial and administrative support to attorneys and/or judges.

A general counsel, chief counsel, or chief legal officer (CLO) is the chief lawyer of a legal department, usually in a company or a governmental department.

An executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. The title is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.

In 1966, Tobin received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York."

The Hundred Year Association of New York

The Hundred Year Association of New York, founded in 1927, is a non-profit organization in New York City aimed at recognizing and rewarding dedication and service to the City of New York by businesses and organizations that have been in operation in the city for a century or more and by individuals who have devoted their lives to the city as city employees.

He died on February 8, 1978, in Manhattan, New York City, at the age of 74. [1]

Legacy

Austin J. Tobin Plaza in 1995 Austin Tobin Plaza Marriott World Trade Center - 1995.jpg
Austin J. Tobin Plaza in 1995

In 1978, the Port Authority decided to rename the outdoor plaza at the World Trade Center, in his honor, as the Austin J. Tobin Plaza. The centerpiece of the plaza was The Sphere , a 25-foot tall bronze sculpture designed by Fritz Koenig.

The plaza was destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001, and is now occupied on the same site by the National September 11 Memorial.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "Austin J. Tobin, Executive Director Of Port Authority for 30 Years, Dies. A Target of Criticism. Worked Long Hours. Took Top Position in 1942". The New York Times . February 9, 1978. Retrieved 2008-06-17. Austin J. Tobin, the autocratic Brooklyn-born lawyer who built the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey into the most powerful agency of its kind in the world, died of cancer yesterday at his Manhattan apartment. He was 74 years old.
  2. 1 2 Glanz, James and Eric Lipton (2003). City in the Sky. Times Books. p. 42.
  3. Doig, Jameson (2001). Empire on the Hudson. Columbia University Press.

Further reading