'I'm a tribal chieftain as well'

James Michael Curley in 1922.

James Michael Curley in 1922.

“You see,’’ he said, my position is slightly complicated because I’m not just an elected official of the city; I’m a tribal chieftain as well. It’s a necessary kind of dual officeholding, you might say; without the second, I wouldn’t be the first.’’

“The tribe,’’ said Adam, being the Irish?’’


Conversation between fictional Mayor Frank Skeffington, based on the corrupt and charming Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, and his nephew in Edwin O’Connor’s novel The Last Hurrah, which was made into a movie with Spencer Tracy starring as Skeffington.

Mr. Curley was mayor in 1914-1918, 1922–1926, 1930–1934 and 1946–1950, and governor of Massachusetts in 1935-1937.