@Politician, Birthday and Facts
William M. Tweed born at
William M. Tweed married Mary Jane C. Skaden on September 29, 1844.
He died on April 12, 1878, at the age of 55, in the Ludlow Street Jail.
William M. Tweed was born on April 3, 1823, in Manhattan. His father was a third-generation Scottish-Irish chair-maker.
He did not receive much formal education and dropped out of school at the age of 11 to learn his father’s trade. A couple of years later he became an apprentice to a saddler.
He worked as a brush-maker for a while before joining the family business in 1852. He was also a member of a volunteer fire company which served as a recruiting ground for political parties. He was actively courted by the Democrats and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852.
Tweed was by no means a trained lawyer, but his friend Judge George G. Barnard, certified him as an attorney and Tweed soon opened a law office.
In the 1860s, he became the chairman of the Democratic General Committee and was then chosen to be the head of Tammany's general committee in January 1863. He wasted no time in tightening his hold on power by using various means and within months began to be referred to as "Boss".
He now started increasing his wealth by adopting illegal means. He extorted large sums of money from various corporations for his so-called “legal services”, and bought the New-York Printing Company and the Manufacturing Stationers’ Company. Under his ownership, both the companies started overcharging for their goods and services.
In 1868, he became a state senator and also the grand sachem (principal leader) of Tammany Hall. By now he was one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in both the New York City and state. In order to strengthen his stance, he had his candidates elected as mayor of New York City, and governor, and speaker of the state assembly.
William M. Tweed was a politician very deeply involved in political corruption. An alderman’s committee in 1877 estimated that he stole between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers though according to later estimates, he might have stolen as much as $200 million.