Thomas McIntosh (politician)

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Thomas McIntosh in 1967 ThomasMcIntosh.png
Thomas McIntosh in 1967

Thomas McIntosh (May 11, 1921 – October 4, 2005) was a Democratic politician from Philadelphia who served three terms on the Philadelphia City Council.

Contents

Early life and education

McIntosh was born and raised in North Philadelphia, the son of Robert and Creola Johnson McIntosh. He attended Central High School, graduating in 1940. [1] He attended Temple University and Lincoln University for three years before being drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. [2] After World War II, he finished a bachelor's degree in 1948 from Martin College. In 1950, he married Marjorie Osborne, with whom he would have six children. After studying law at Temple for two years, McIntosh took a job with the state department of revenue. [2]

Political career

McIntosh had been involved in Democratic Party politics since high school, and he became a committeeman in the 29th ward. [2] In 1959, when 5th district councilman Raymond Pace Alexander retired, the ward leaders in the district selected McIntosh as their candidate to succeed him. [3] Democrats swept all ten districts that year, and in the safely Democratic 5th district, McIntosh tallied the highest percentage of the vote of any council candidate, with 77%. [4]

In his first term on the city council, McIntosh worked on the problem of excessive force by the city's police officers, also questioning whether there was a "deep-seated animosity" by police toward the city's black population. [5] At the same time, he pushed back against civil rights leader Cecil B. Moore's call for minority set-asides in city hiring, saying "I don't go along with the idea for designating any particular job for a race." [6]

In 1963, McIntosh was elected leader of the 29th ward. [7] That spring, he was easily re-nominated for council over progressive challenger Elease M. Sullivan. [8] In that fall's election, he defeated Republican Andrew Wilson with 75% of the vote. [9] In his second term, McIntosh challenged the School District of Philadelphia to make sure that school conditions were equal in both black and white neighborhoods and to redraw district boundaries to encourage racial integration. [10] He also led an investigation in City Council when a black police captain died after being refused admission to Philadelphia General Hospital in 1966. [11]

McIntosh supported Mayor James H.J. Tate for reelection in 1967 over the party hierarchy's preferred candidate, Alexander Hemphill; the action cost him the organization's endorsement in the Democratic primary that year, but he was re-nominated anyway. [12] In the general election, he was easily reelected, defeating Republican Wilbur C. Bowers with 59% of the vote. [13]

In 1968, McIntosh became chairman of the council's Appropriations Committee. [14] By 1970, he was considered, along with George X. Schwartz and Paul D'Ortona, to be one of the "triumvirate" that controlled City Council. [15] He was easily re-nominated for a fourth term in 1971, but faced an unexpectedly tight race as the mayoral candidacy of Frank Rizzo scrambled voters' loyalties. [16] He lost the general election to Republican Ethel D. Allen, and was the only Democrat on the council to lose that year. [17]

After his defeat, McIntosh worked for the Rizzo administration as the director of the Office of Consumer Affairs. [1] He continued in that office under Mayor William J. Green, III, then became head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority in 1978. [2] He later worked as a legislative liaison at the Philadelphia Parking Authority and remained active in government as a consultant well into his eighties. [2]

McIntosh died in 2005 at the age of 84 after a brief illness. [2] After a funeral at Holy Trinity Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, he was buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Morrison 2005.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Sims 2005.
  3. Inquirer 1959.
  4. Bulletin Almanac 1960.
  5. Inquirer 1962.
  6. Countryman 2007, p. 153.
  7. Inquirer 1963.
  8. Hussie 1963.
  9. Bulletin Almanac 1964.
  10. Janssen 1965.
  11. Inquirer 1966.
  12. Heymsfeld & Klimcke 1967.
  13. Bulletin Almanac 1968.
  14. Lordan 1968.
  15. Ryan 1970.
  16. Lynch 1971.
  17. Bulletin Almanac 1972.

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