Irwin Steingut

Last updated
Irwin Steingut
107th Speaker of the New York State Assembly
In office
January 2, 1935 December 31, 1935
Governor Herbert H. Lehman
Preceded by Joseph A. McGinnies
Succeeded by Irving McNeil Ives
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 18th district
In office
January 1, 1922 September 26, 1952
Preceded by Theodore Stitt
Succeeded by Stanley Steingut
Personal details
Born(1893-10-19)October 19, 1893
Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York
DiedSeptember 26, 1952(1952-09-26) (aged 58)
Brooklyn, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Rea Kaufmann
ChildrenJeanne Eleanor Weiss
Alma mater Dwight School
St. John's College, School of Law

Irwin Steingut (October 19, 1893 in Manhattan, New York – September 26, 1952 in Brooklyn, New York) was an American lawyer, businessman and politician. At the time of his death he had served as a member of the New York Assembly longer than anyone in history. Early in his career he teamed with Brooklyn boss John H. McCooey, who turned Brooklyn into a solidly Democratic power base and dominated its politics for a quarter of a century until his death in 1934. Steingut thereafter became the de facto leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Throughout almost all of his legislative career Republicans held a majority in the New York Assembly, and much of that time Steingut was the Minority Leader. In 1935 for the one year the Democrats had the majority, Steingut was Speaker of the Assembly.

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.


Steingut stoutly defended the Democratic party machine in Brooklyn and when consistent with the Brooklyn machine's interests also Tammany. He faced spirited primary opposition several times by independent Democrats but never lost a race. He was a key legislative ally of both Governors Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert H. Lehman and considered his roles in the passage of unemployment relief under the former and the creation of Brooklyn College his greatest legislative achievements.

Herbert H. Lehman American politician

Herbert Henry Lehman was a Democratic Party politician from New York. He served from 1933 until 1942 as the 45th Governor of New York and represented New York State in the US Senate from 1949 until 1957.

Brooklyn College senior college of the City University of New York, located in Brooklyn

Brooklyn College is a public college in Brooklyn, New York City. It is part of the City University of New York.

His son, Stanley Steingut, filled his Assembly seat at his death and became Speaker forty years after Irwin Steingut held the gavel. Brooklyn sent either Irwin or Stanley Steingut to the New York Assembly for 56 consecutive years.

Stanley Steingut American politician

Stanley Steingut was an American politician, New York Democratic Party leader, insurance brokerage owner, and lawyer. He took over his father's position as boss of Brooklyn County Democratic politics and eventually parlayed that position to become Speaker of the New York State Assembly. Before reaching that office, Steingut engaged in a power struggle along with Reform Democrats beginning in the early-1960s, when he was an early and powerful supporter of Robert F. Kennedy's bid for Senate from New York. In the late 1950s, he was an early supporter of then-Senator John F. Kennedy’s bid for the nomination of the Democratic Party for the residency. His support of both Kennedys caused a major rift with Tammany Hall Democrats led by then-Mayor Wagner. Those loyal to Wagner combined with Rockefeller Republicans deprived him of the Speakership in 1965 even though he had a great majority of the Democratic Assemblymembers. He would not take over the party leadership in the Assembly until 1969. He considered his sponsorship of landmark legislation providing public educational services for the developmentally disabled his greatest legislative accomplishment.

Early life and education

Irwin Steingut was born on October 19, 1893 [1] [2] (not 1891, as in Schlegel [3] ), on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the first of two sons to Simon and Lena Steingut. His mother, formerly Lena Wolbach, was born in Kiev, then in the Russian Empire. Simon Steingut was born on December 24, 1856, in Hamburg, one of three sons of Joseph Steingut, a banker who founded the banking house of Steingut & Son. He emigrated to the United States, sometime before 1881, where he took up residence in the portion of New York's Lower East Side known as Klein Deutschland (little Germany). [3] Simon Steingut obtained a position as a Tammany Hall captain and as a result an auctioneer. Eventually he developed a real estate and insurance business as a broker and investor, building a successful firm, S. Steingut Company, first on Second Avenue, later at 47 West 42 Street, Manhattan. [4] He was more famous, however, for his activities as a minor political operative and neighborhood fixer, begun when he opened an office at 31 Second Avenue in 1888, [5] activities in which he engaged as an informally elected community "little mayor" for over a quarter of a century, for which he was referred to as the "Mayor of Second Avenue." [4]

Lower East Side Neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City

The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, roughly located between the Bowery and the East River, and Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.

Kiev City with special status in Kiev City Municipality, Ukraine

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine, located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Irwin Steingut's obituary [1] says that he "moved to Brooklyn as a young man and was educated in the public schools there." The move was in fact away from his father and involved the turbulent relations between his parents, which resulted in their eventual divorce amid much ridicule in the press. Simon Steingut had been married earlier to a woman named Mary. The divorce decree in 1881 prohibited Simon (although not Mary) from remarrying until she died. After Lena Woldach gave birth to Irwin, Simon obtained a modification of the decree from Judge Miles Beach. He then married Lena on April 10, 1894. [6]

Within two years Lena Steingut had engaged a lawyer to seek support from Simon pending divorce. Steingut agreed but objected to the allegations of cruelty, telling all that his wife (at six feet, almost 14 inches taller than him) regularly beat him. [7] A reconciliation occurred and the couple had another son, Edward (born April 20, 1900; he went to Commercial High School in Brooklyn [3] ). But at a high society ball in 1901, Simon had a jealous outburst. Lena retaliated by hiring detectives who eventually discovered Simon's relations with a singer ("Blond Cora" Brown) who Lena sued for $100,000 and then instituted divorce proceedings on May 22, 1902. [8] Testimony was taken in the beginning of 1903, before Justice Hall. [9] The Sun claimed that the action was a "shock" to the East Side, which looked on their marriage as a "model." [10] The divorce decree became absolute on April 16. [11] Like the earlier one, it also prohibited Steingut from remarrying, but he claimed he could remarry in New Jersey. [8] Four months later, just as he was about to fulfill his promise by marrying an "actress" with "a position at the Metropolitan Opera," he learned that a divorced wife still had a dower interest in any real estate he purchased. He vowed to have this law changed. [12] Divorce reform was a legislative goal for his son Irwin as well.


Dower is a provision accorded by law, but traditionally by a husband or his family, to a wife for her support in the event that she should become widowed. It was settled on the bride by agreement at the time of the wedding, or as provided by law.

After Simon's death, the fact that Irwin's parents divorced was almost never mentioned, not even in the obituary of his mother, who was called the widow of Simon Steingut. [13] But it came up again in 1945 when Irwin Steingut faced his most serious investigation into possible corruption.

In Brooklyn Irwin Steingut attended and graduated from Public School 19, [3] then at the corner of South Second Street and Keap Avenue in Brooklyn. [14] After public school he attended the Dwight School, on West Forty-Third Street in Manhattan. [3] [15] More than a decade later, while he was in the Assembly, he studied law at St. John's College, School of Law [1] [2] graduating in 1929. [16] Irwin Steingut never practiced law, however.

Irwin was reluctant to follow his father's political career and after graduating law school became a reporter for Associated Press. After a year working in journalism, Irwin entered his father's real estate and insurance business on Forty-Second Street, which became S. Steingut & Son. Within a year he married Rea Kaufmann, daughter of Israel and Sophia Kaufman. [17]

Political apprenticeship

Tammany Hall

Simon Steingut's role as "Mayor of Second Avenue" was as one of 35 to 40 ethnic community leaders on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, who provided liaisons between government (and other institutions and persons of influence) and insular ethnic groups, usually made up of new immigrants or first generation Americans too ignorant or timid to deal with authority. [18] Local "mayors" helped distribute patronage and favors, provide a means of access for new immigrants to government and party machines, and enforce party or political club discipline. [5] The East Side mayors organized themselves into a group called "The East Side Mayors Association," which included both Democrat and Republican "mayors," each providing uncompensated services to his constituents. The "mayor" could then expect personal loyalty at the ballot box. Since the total voting pool from these three dozen fiefdoms amounted to seventy-six thousand, the mayors could expect handsome patronage or other favors from the victors for whom they delivered votes. [18] It was yet another means by which Tammany Hall was part of the political fabric of the city. [5]

Simon Steingut, "Mayor of Second Avenue" Simon Steingut.png
Simon Steingut, "Mayor of Second Avenue"

"Mayors" had no influence on party policy, and in many cases organized relief or benefits outside of government or party structure. They often used their own funds to help those in need. Constituents sought a wide range of services from mayors, one of the most common was to adjudicate local disputes. "Mayors" often provided legal advice or unauthorized representation. Simon Steingut was twice prosecuted for unauthorized practice of law. In one case, he argued that he was merely exercising the normal duties of a notary public. The case was dismissed on the condition he take down the law office sign which Steingut claimed was put in his office by an old tenant. [19] In 1915 Simon was convicted of unauthorized practice of law at the beginning of a major sweep, in which "hundreds" of unlicensed lawyers were under surveillance. Steingut was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but his supporters raised the $250 fine in lieu of imprisonment. [20]

The services these little mayors undertook ranged from explaining government, legal or business usages to constituents to intervening with institutions like banks to providing holiday food or winter coal for the poor. [18] Simon Steingut made it a practice to distribute Christmas baskets to the poor of Second Avenue, and even on his death bed he instructed his son Irwin to distribute the usual number of baskets. [4]

Simon Steingut was a loyal Tammany soldier, and only one time acted contrary to Tammany interests. That time was just before the divorce from Lena, and Steingut exacted revenge from the highly connected Harburger clan (which included Tammany politicians and officials) by arranging for the sale of the building which contained the Tammany clubhouse for the Harburger 10th district. Evicting the Tammany Club was Steingut's retaliation for Leopold Harburger acting as Lena's counsel. [10] But Tammany was above such petty squabbles, and Steingut was back in its good graces and rewarded with the commission for acquiring property for a new theatre to be built on Second Avenue between Fourteenth and Twenty-Third Streets. The $350,000 real estate transaction was for a syndicate led by Timothy ("Big Tim") Sullivan and included other Tammany politicians. [21]

Working for his father in a business so intimately connected with the favors of Tammany Hall, Irwin Steingut had to become involved in Tammany political work. But Simon also introduced his son to electoral politics of sorts. Simon himself never ran for government office. (He once announced his candidacy for Alderman of the 10th ward in 1911, but decided against it. [22] ) But each year he went before his constituents and stood for election at Ike Hirschborn's saloon at First Street and Second Avenue, and for 30 consecutive years he was elected "Mayor." [22] Only in 1911 did he come dangerously close to losing. It was then that the new courthouse was built at the beginning of Second Avenue, and no one apprised Steingut of the decision. Since the court was attached to Joe Levy, the "Duke of Essex Street," the implication was that the powers were throwing their weight behind Levy, Steingut's archrival. [23] That year Levy came within five votes, [4] the closest he ever got until 1918 when he defeated Steingut outright in the year before Steingut's death. But back in 1911 Steingut showed his strength again later in the year. In May it was announced that Steingut was to sail to Europe to attend (at whose invitation Steingut refused to reveal) the coronation of King George V (as well as obtain the $5,000 inheritance his father left him). A lavish parade was planned to escort him to the Hoboken piers on June 8, with police escort, attended by other Little Mayors, but more importantly by Big Tim Sullivan and step-brother Larry Mulligan as well as a variety of Tammany judges and politicians. [24] When Simon arrived at Hirschorn's, dressed in silk hat and morning clothes on June 4, Levy was ready to argue that Steingut was forfeiting his "office" by so long an absence. The crowd suggested that Irwin Steingut be elected temporary mayor, and in the ensuing voting he bested Levy by a 44-vote majority. [25] The rebuff to Levy vindicated Simon's years of service, and provided a launching pad for Irwin's later electoral career.

Simon involved Irwin in projects and events involving close contact with Tammany figures. In 1912, Simon Steingut collected a group of Jewish bankers and realtors to form a corporation (in which Big Tim Sullivan also had an interest) for the construction of a building on Second Avenue for two theaters as well as offices, lofts and a place for a dramatic school, for the production of Yiddish and German drama. The ground floor theater was to be devoted to "high class drama," while the rooftop theater was to be designed for cinema and vaudeville. The best European actors were to be sought for a professional resident company, and "an experienced manager will be engaged." Irwin was designated to supervise the project, because Simon was concentrating on real estate work. [26]

Irwin's association with his father now got him noticed by both the press (the Tribune, for example, noted his presence at the following year's election by calling him a "slick young feller" [27] ) and Tammany (at the large funeral of the Republican leader of the 8th Assembly District, Irwin was mentioned between Thomas H. Smith, secretary of Tammany and Samuel Gompers [28] ). When Simon Steingut eventually died in 1919, he had impressed Irwin and most observers with his deep commitment for the community and especially the poor, [22] a perspective that Irwin did not lose during his long legislative career.

After Simon died on March 11, 1919, [29] Irwin Steingut, now the principal of S. Steingut & Son, [15] began a spurt of activity, soliciting apartment building owners in Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx wishing to sell [30] as well as garage owners. [31] His break with the style of his father seemed complete when he began his campaign to have 1,000 businesses raise $50,000 to combat "radicalism" on the Lower East Side. It was a move to improve the image of the neighborhood and the citizen Jews who lived there. [32] Irwin soon transitioned from a real estate to an insurance dealer business and move to Brooklyn, [16] although he still listed the Manhattan address as his place of business right before his Brooklyn assembly campaign in his Board of Elections filing. [33]

John McCooey and the Madison Club of Brooklyn

After his father's death, Irwin Steingut's move back to Brooklyn, which became his political base for the next three decades, was facilitated by Tammany Leader Charles Murphy, who introduced Steingut to John H. McCooey, the political boss of Brooklyn. [34] The introduction proved the most fortuitous event in Steingut's life, for McCooey became his mentor, sponsor, and eventually closest friend.

McCooey was a self-made man, having taken on the role of head of a family (of a widow and six children) at the age of 13 when his father died in an accident. For seven years he worked at the shipbuilding firm in which his father had worked Chester, Pennsylvania, while teaching himself mechanical engineering. At 20 he moved to New York eventually obtaining a job in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a job in the suffrage of the local political machine. In 1878 he obtained a position in the Post Office. Although he mastered all aspects of the service and was promoted to a more lucrative postmaster position, he was cashiered for political reasons when the Republicans regained control. [35] He threw in with the local Brooklyn Democratic organization (for which he had been acting as a district leader) and obtained a post as deputy treasurer of King's County. Through his association with Patrick H. McCarren, he obtained the position as secretary of the Civil Service Commission (located in Manhattan) in the new consolidated City of New York. He worked his way to chairmanship, all the while acquainting himself with men and ways of Tammany. In the early days of consolidation there was considerable hostility between Brooklyn democrats and Tammany, but McCooey remained friendly with Tammany (while siding with Brooklyn). McCarren became head of the Brooklyn party, and was eventually squeezed out of state party affairs by Charles Murphy, who not only controlled Tammany but had dominating influence over the state party. [36] McCooey was selected by the Brooklyn party's executive committee as a caretaker chairman until the conflicting factions of Brooklyn democrats could settle on a leader. [37]

McCooey's personal political base was the 18th Assembly District, which in 1910 comprised Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace and parts of Kensington, Midwood and Flatlands. [38] McCooey moved whenever necessary to stay within the district. His personal political club was the Madison Club, an organization he founded with four others in 1905. [39] Before Steingut's arrival, notwithstanding the efforts of the Madison Club, Democrats were rarely successful in sending a representative to Albany. In the 13 elections between 1908 and 1920 the Democrats only won twice.

(l to r) W.B. Vause, Irwin Steingut, John J. Campbell, John H. McCooey, W.A. Hyman in 1922. NY AD 18 1922 Syracuse.png
(l to r) W.B. Vause, Irwin Steingut, John J. Campbell, John H. McCooey, W.A. Hyman in 1922.

Steingut family tradition has it that his place on the 1921 ticket for assemblyman was secured when his mother-in-law, Sophia Kaufman, and his own mother, Lena Steingut, approached McCooey and asked "Why not run a Jew for Assemblyman?" McCooey is supposed to have said that it was a "good thought." [40] The fact was, however, that although McCooey himself was of Irish descent and connected with all important Brooklyn Irish associations and although the Irish district often nominated an Irish-American, the Madison Club twice before 1921 had secured the nomination of Jews for the Assembly race (Edward Baruch in 1910 [41] and Jacob Friedman in 1917 [42] ). It is likely that Tammany's recommendation was more persuasive in Irwin's case than his mother-in-law's. In any event, the Madison Club ran Irwin Steingut for Assembly in 1921. Steingut beat his Republican opponent (Mortimer J. Wohl, also Jewish) 46% to 38%, with the Socialist candidate receiving 14%. The votes were 10,267, 8,537 and 3,143, respectively (and less than 300 to the Farmer-Labor and Prohibition candidates). [43]

Assembly career

Steingut's 1921 election began a career in the Assembly which lasted for the rest of his life. [lower-alpha 1] His election in 1921, however, was largely on the coattails of Mayor Hylan who won re-election with a resounding majority. Hylan's overall majority in the city was 64.2% with a plurality of 417,986 votes; in Brooklyn his majority was 62.1%, and in Steingut's 18th Assembly District his majority was 53.5%. [44] The Democratic sweep was felt throughout the city. Democrats picked up fourteen seats on the Board of Aldermen, for example, making their majority over Republicans 50-15. [45] A victory had been expected for some time. Assistant District Attorney James Gallagher in August assured the largest crowd in Madison Club history that it was a safe year for the mayor, while Steingut himself spoke to the same standing room only crowd. [46] Active club members could be expected to be remembered for services, especially given that McCooey was a close friend of the mayor's dating back to a favor he long ago conferred on the mayor when the latter was a simple working man. [lower-alpha 2] If there was any question about the relation of the mayor and John McCooey after the election, it was dispelled when a surprise tribute to McCooey was organized in December 1921 at which the mayor spoke warmly of McCooey's work in the district; all affirmed Democratic loyalty. [48] It was clear to Steingut even before he was sworn in to whom his allegiance belonged, and as long as McCooey lived, Steingut was a loyal lieutenant.

At the beginning of his career Steingut was not heard on the big issues—those that affected Brooklyn and the city and Democratic political generally, all of which were matters for the machine. He campaigned on generic Brooklyn Democratic issues. [lower-alpha 3] During the session Steingut introduced three bills, none of which emerged from their respective committees. [50] By the end of the first term, with an eye toward re-election, Steingut made a play for popularity by championing the interests of boxing fans. He called for a cap on ticket prices to bouts [lower-alpha 4] and demanded an investigation into one of Harry Wills's fights to determine if it was "set up," [53] He won re-election in November 1922 by a wide margin (53.5% to his Republican rival's 33%). [54] Once again Steingut benefitted from strong up-ticket performance. This time it was the governor's race, in which Catholic Al Smith, overwhelmingly carried the heavily Catholic Kings County, taking over 70% of the vote. [55]

In his second legislative term, Steingut continued to generate publicity for himself on "leisure" and "entertainment" issues. Like most of the New York City delegation, Steingut supported repeal of the New York prohibition act and for amendment of the federal Volstead Act to the extent of permitting the sale of light wine and beer. [lower-alpha 5] He introduced the bill he promised before his re-election to limit the price of boxing tickets. [52] He introduced a bill permitting the use of portable movie projectors by non-licensed, private operators. The bill was widely supported by educational and fraternal organizations and passed the legislature. But Governor Smith believed the highly flammable film was too dangerous when used by untrained persons and vetoed the bill. [57] Steingut also introduced a bill which called for an investigation into aeronautic stunts above populated areas and provided funds for legislative remedy. Another of Steingut's bills was directed at the Ku Klux Klan. It would have required all unincorporated associations with more than 20 members to send its membership list to the Secretary of State, together with its constitution, by-laws and membership oath. [58] Steingut also proposed one of five Democratic bills seeking to increase compensation to certain New York City officials—proposals which Republicans dismissed as "a raid on the treasury." [59]

Despite twice elected by sizeable pluralities, Steingut remained mindful that the religious and ethnic majorities of the district were not his own. In the 1923 race he highlighted the fact that his Republican opponent had changed his name to Allan Lane from Abraham Levine, evidently to point out that his opponent was no less Jewish than he was. [60] He also made efforts to associate himself with Catholic charities. [lower-alpha 6] He also continued to labor to build McCooey's Madison Club. In 1923 heading up the reception committee, the club's annual dinner-dance produced record, over-flowing attendance, and it produced enough funds to allow the club to begin its planned three-story upgrade. [62] He won his 1923 election with 53% of the vote (over Lane and a Socialist opponent). [63]

The third term that Steingut served was much like the previous two. The Democrats were still the minority party and so even with Democrat Al Smith as governor, Democrats were not major players in the Assembly. Brooklyn Democrats specifically received none of the important committee assignments or chairmanships. Steingut himself served on the insurance and revision committees. [64] The most important bill he proposed was simply to exempt certain low rent landlords from municipal property taxes. In addition to being shut out of power, the New York City delegation felt oppressed in light of the pay raise given to New York City Aldermen, making their salary more than three times an assemblyman's for what amounted to one day's work a week. Many assemblymen therefore cut down their time in Albany to tend to their own businesses at home. [65] It was during this period that Steingut contemplated leaving the Assembly. The congressional seat soon became vacant because the Democrats had no intention to re-nominate Charles I. Stengle who had moved to New Jersey and was not heard from in the district. On June 10, over 1,500 Democrats, practically all of the Madison Club membership and more, together with John McCooey, senator Jimmy Walker and paint magnate Arthur S. Somers as toastmaster, turned out for a dinner at Brighton Beach designed to create a "boom" for Steingut-for-Congress. [66] The boom failed to gain momentum, and McCooey eventually endorsed Andrew L. Somers, Arthur's son, [67] in the Democratic primary. [68] Somers represented the district until his death in 1949.


On June 12, 1914, he married Rea Kaufmann (b. June 12, 1893 in New York City). They had two children, Jeanne Eleanor Weiss (b. August 12, 1917) [17] and Speaker Stanley Steingut (1920–1989).


Steingut died in Brooklyn on September 26, 1952, and was buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, Queens. [69]


  1. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Kings Co., 18th D.) in 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939–40, 1941–42, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1947–48, 1949–50 and 1951–52; and was Minority Leader from 1930 to 1934, Speaker in 1935, and again Minority Leader from 1936 to 1952. He also served as a delegate to the 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948 Democratic National Conventions. In addition, he was a member of the New York State Democratic Committee in 1936 and 1948.
  2. McCooey cashed a money order at the Post Office, even though Hylan had no identification. [47]
  3. His 1921 election handbill emphasized Brooklyn Home Rule, a soldier bonus for World War I vets, maintenance of the 5¢ transit fare with free transfers and telephone, gas and electric rates. [49]
  4. In August 1922 Steingut wrote to the New York State Athletic Commission to support a letter by Assemblyman McKee to cap boxing ticket prices at $7 per seat for championship fights and $5 for other bouts. He suggested that he would introduce a bill to that effect if the Commission did not act. [51] Steingut introduced such legislation in the next session. [52]
  5. Steingut argued that repeal would "rid ourselves of violence and the bootlegger. [56]
  6. In 1923, for example, he was able to get himself appointed to the Irish committee, The Emerald Association, which held an annual ball at the Waldorf-Astoria to benefit a Catholic orphanage and other Catholic charities. [61]

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Edward Cooper (mayor) Mayor of New York City

Edward Cooper was the 83rd Mayor of New York City from 1879 to 1880. He was the only surviving son of industrialist Peter Cooper.

Fulton Street Line (elevated)

The Fulton Street Line, also called the Fulton Street Elevated or Kings County Line, was an elevated rail line mostly in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. It ran above Fulton Street from Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn in Downtown Brooklyn east to East New York, and then south on Van Sinderen Avenue (southbound) and Snediker Avenue (northbound), east on Pitkin Avenue, north on Euclid Avenue, and east on Liberty Avenue to Ozone Park, Queens. The portion in Brooklyn has been torn down, but most of the line in Queens has been connected to the New York City Subway and is now part of the IND Fulton Street Line, an underground line that replaced the elevated line in Brooklyn. The structure was the main line of the Kings County Elevated Railway, first opened in 1888.

Thomas Coman American politician

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1917 New York City mayoral election

The 1917 New York City mayoral election replaced sitting Mayor John P. Mitchel, a reform Democrat running on the Fusion Party ticket, with John F. Hylan, the regular Democrat supported by Tammany Hall and William Randolph Hearst.

Hugh McLaughlin (politician) American politician

Hugh McLaughlin was an American politician and for many years the "boss" of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn.

John H. McCooey New York City politician

John Henry McCooey was an American politician most notable for his involvement as a political boss in the Democratic Party political machine of Brooklyn. McCooey served as chair of the Kings County Democratic Party from 1910 until his death in 1934.

Brooklyn Democratic Party

The Brooklyn Democratic Party, officially the Kings County Democratic County Committee, is the county committee of the Democratic Party in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is the most local level of party governance in New York. Kings County Democratic County Committee is one of the largest Democratic county organizations in the United States, and the largest that is not its own city.

1929 New York City Borough President elections

Elections of New York City's Borough presidents were held on November 5, 1929, in concert with such contests as the mayoralty, Comptroller, aldermen, County Sheriffs, Aldermanic Board President, and other miscellaneous questions on the ballot. Democrats were elected in all Boroughs except Queens. This and Democratic victories in other contests were all a part of what was considered "a Crushing Defeat to [the] City G.O.P. [delivered]" by Tammany Hall.

1929 New York City aldermanic presidential election

An election was held on November 5, 1929 to elect the President of the New York City Board of Aldermen, in concert with other such contests as the mayoralty, Comptroller, the remainder of the Board of Aldermen, County Sheriffs, Borough presidents, and other miscellaneous questions on the ballot. Democratic incumbent Joseph V. McKee of The Bronx defeated Republican candidate Bird Sim Coler of Brooklyn, himself an independent Democrat, 890,655 votes to 385,514. This combined with Democratic victories in other contests formed what was considered "a Crushing Defeat to [the] City G.O.P. [delivered]" by Tammany Hall.

1933 New York City aldermanic presidential election New York City Alderman Board President election

An election was held on November 7, 1933 to elect the President of the New York City Board of Aldermen, along with other contests such as the mayoralty, Comptroller, and aldermen. Democratic incumbent Joseph V. McKee had resigned earlier in the year to assume the office of Mayor after Jimmy Walker had resigned that position, and the aldermanic presidential post was occupied by Dennis J. Mahon in the meantime. Republican candidate Bernard S. Deutsch defeated Democratic candidate Milton Solomon and Recovery Party candidate Natan Straus Jr. to win the position.


  1. 1 2 3 "Assemblyman Steingut Dies at 58" (PDF). New York Times. September 27, 1952. p. 1. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Steingut, Minority Leader, Dies at 58" (PDF). Brooklyn Eagle. September 27, 1952. p. 2. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Schlegel, Carl Wilhelm, Schlegel's German-American Families in America (New York: American HIstorical Society: 1916-1918), Volume 3 ("Schlegel"), p. 110.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "'Mayor of Second Avenue' Dies" (PDF). New York Times. March 12, 1919. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 Krase, Jerome & Charles LaCerra, Ethnicity and Machine Politics (Lanham, Md: University Press of America: c1991) ("Krase & LaCerra"), p. 78.
  6. "Simon Steingut Weds Again" (PDF). New York Press. April 11, 1894. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  7. "Steingut Wife Gone" (PDF). [New York] World. July 19, 1896. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  8. 1 2 "Steingut Happy, If Divorced" (PDF). [New York] Sun. September 5, 1903. p. 12. Retrieved June 20, 2013 via Fulton History.
  9. "Courts Ready to Reopen" (PDF). New York Times. January 4, 1903. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Mayor Steingut's Wife Sues" (PDF). [New York] Sun. January 2, 1903. Retrieved June 20, 2013 via Fulton History.
  11. "Divorced from Steingut" (PDF). [New York] Sun. April 17, 1903. Retrieved June 21, 2013 via Fulton History.
  12. "'Mayor' Demands New Divorce Laws" (PDF). New York Herald. November 25, 1903. p. 5. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  13. "Mrs. Simon Steingut" (PDF). New York Times. June 24, 1957. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  14. Real Estate Record and Bullders' Guide, Volume 71 (New York: F.W. Dodge Corp: 1903), p. 857.
  15. 1 2 Malcolm, James (ed.), New York Red Book (Albany: J.B. Lyon: 1922), pp. 132-33
  16. 1 2 Mosher, Clinton L. (January 19, 1930). "McCooey Wins Assembly Rule for Steingut" (PDF). Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 1. Retrieved July 1, 2013 via Fulton History.
  17. 1 2 Schlegel, p. 111.
  18. 1 2 3 "How Our 'Little Mayors' Help Run the City" (PDF). New York Times. March 5, 1905. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  19. Krase & LaCerra, pp. 79-80, citing New York Times, January 23, 1901, p. 3.
  20. "Seven Men Held as Bogus Lawyers" (PDF). New York Times. October 20, 1915. Retrieved June 22, 2013.See also "Seven in Net Spread for Fake Attorneys". [New York] Sun. October 20, 1915. p. 2. Retrieved March 25, 2016 via
  21. "For a New Theatre in Second Avenue" (PDF). [New York] Morning Telegraph. January 26, 1903. p. 7. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  22. 1 2 3 "Former 'Mayor of Second Ave.' Dead" (PDF). [New York] Sun. March 12, 1919. p. 14. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  23. "East Side Barons at Outs, and War Impends" (PDF). New York Herald. February 7, 1911. p. 13. Retrieved June 23, 2013 via Fulton History.
  24. "Mayor of Second Avenue to Rival George V. at Coronation" (PDF). [New York] Evening Telegram. May 22, 1911. p. 6. Retrieved June 24, 2013 via Fulton History.
  25. "Second Av. Mayor Going to Coronation" (PDF). New York Times. June 5, 1911. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  26. "Theatre to Support School". [New York] Sun. March 22, 1912. p. 7. Retrieved March 25, 2016 via
  27. "Steingut; He's Won It" (PDF). New-York Tribune. December 23, 1912. p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013 via Fulton History. The Tribune, however, called Irwin "Irving."
  28. "Funeral of Chas. S. Adler" (PDF). [New York] Sun. April 10, 1911. p. 7. Retrieved June 20, 2013 via Fulton History.
  29. "Deaths". New York Tribune. March 13, 1919. p. 10. Retrieved March 25, 2016 via
  30. "Owners, Attention [Ad]". New York Times. May 25, 1919. p. 118. Retrieved March 25, 2016 via
  31. "Garage Wanted [Ad]". New York Times. May 25, 1919. p. 123. Retrieved March 25, 2016 via
  32. "Move to Stamp Out Radicalism on the East Side Started". New York Tribune. September 18, 1919. p. 22. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  33. "Board of Elections". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 2, 1921. p. 26. Retrieved May 24, 2016 via
  34. Krase & LaCerra, p. 81
  35. Mosher, Clinton L. (January 22, 1934). "Death Ends the Career of Best Known Old School Democratic Leader in the U.S." (PDF). Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 3. Retrieved June 27, 2013 via Fulton History.
  36. "McCooey Noted for Ability in Accumulating Patronage" (PDF). New York Sun. January 22, 1934. p. 3. Retrieved June 29, 2013 via Fulton History.
  37. "Brooklyn Gossip: Sad Days for McCooey" (PDF). New-York Daily Tribune. January 23, 1910. p. 4. Retrieved June 29, 2013 via Fulton History.
  38. Krase & LaCerra, p. 253.
  39. Krase & LaCerra, p. 28.
  40. Krase & LaCerra, p. 81.
  41. "NY Assembly – Kings 18 [1910]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  42. "NY Assembly – Kings 18 [1917]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  43. "NY Assembly – Kings 18 [1921]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 29, 2013.See also "Assembly" (PDF). Brooklyn Standard Union. November 9, 1921. p. 4. Retrieved June 29, 2013 via Fulton History. "Eighteenth District". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 9, 1921. p. 9. Retrieved April 1, 2016 via The final tally including minor candidates and voided ballots can be found at "Election Notices". Brooklyn Daily Eagles. December 19, 1921. p. 26. Retrieved April 1, 2016 via
  44. "The Vote for City-Wide Officers". New-York Tribune. November 10, 1921. p. 3. Retrieved March 31, 2016 via
  45. Graper, Elmer D. (February 1922). "New York City Election". American Political Science Review. 16 (1): 79–83, 82. doi:10.2307/1943889. JSTOR   1943889.
  46. "Madison Club Optimistic". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 5, 1921. p. 5. Retrieved March 31, 2016 via
  47. Hylan, John Francis (1922). The Autobiography of John Francis Hylan: Mayor of New York. New York: Rotary Press. p. 22. LCCN   22015052 . Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  48. "McCooey Honored at Love Fest of Political Family". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 22, 1921. p. 8. Retrieved April 1, 2016 via
  49. "Steingut for 18th assembly district". Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Democratic Party Scrapbooks. Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York. n.d. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  50. New York Legislative Documents: One Hundred and Forty-Fifth Session. Albany, New York: J.B. Lyon Company. 1922. p. 226. Retrieved May 27, 2016 via Google Books.
  51. "Steingut Supports Cheaper Seat Plan". New York Times. August 18, 1922. p. 18.
  52. 1 2 "Bill Would Limit Boxing Price to $7" . New York Times. March 18, 1923. p. S3. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  53. "Steingut Questions Recent Wills Bout" . New York Times. September 3, 1922. p. 14. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  54. "NY Assembly – Kings 18 [1922]". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  55. "Smith Carries Boro by 153,723 in Record Sweep". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 8, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via
  56. "Legislative Poll Shows City Eager to Alter Dry Laws" . New York Times. November 20, 1922. pp. 1, 6. Retrieved May 24, 2016. For statement by Steingut in that article see clip.
  57. "Expect Film Bill Veto: Use of Commercial Reels In Portable Machines Called Dangerous" . New York Times. May 25, 1923. p. 23. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  58. "Bonus Bonds Win Leaders Support" . New York Times. January 25, 1923. p. 21. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  59. "Call Democratic Pay-Boost Bill Raid on Treasury". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 25, 1923. p. 3. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via
  60. "Change of Name Election Issue". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 4, 1923. p. 19. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via
  61. "To Spread Benefits from Emerald Ball". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 29, 1923. p. 20. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via
  62. "McCooey Warriors Hold Record Annual Event" (PDF). Brooklyn Standard Union. April 22, 1923. p. 9. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via Fulton History.
  63. "Assembly / Brooklyn". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 7, 1923. p. 15. Retrieved May 28, 2016 via
  64. "Boro Assemblymen Lose Out this Year on Chairmanships". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 8, 1924. p. 22. Retrieved May 31, 2016 via
  65. "Solons, Sore over Aldermanic Salary Boost, Dodge Work". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 17, 1924. p. 10. Retrieved May 31, 2016 via
  66. "Boom for Steingut Starts at Dinner". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 11, 1924. p. 14. Retrieved June 1, 2016 via
  67. "Arthur Sylvester Somers (1866-1932)". n.d. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  68. "Somers Named to Succeed Stengle". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 6, 1924. p. 2. Retrieved June 1, 2016 via
  69. "Steingut Funeral Attended by 4,000 - Lehman and Farley Are Among Notables Attending Service for Minority Leader". New York Times. September 29, 1952. p. 23. Retrieved 23 September 2016.

Irwin Steingut at Find a Grave

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Theodore Stitt
New York State Assembly
Kings County, 18th District

Succeeded by
Stanley Steingut
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter J. Hamill
Minority Leader in the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Irving Ives
Preceded by
Joseph A. McGinnies
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Irving Ives
Preceded by
Irving Ives
Minority Leader in the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Eugene F. Bannigan