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Former Philly Mayor, His Legacy Remembered

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A long gone Mayor of Philadelphia has been immortalized at the Municipal Services Building.

Dressed in a gray suit, a silver-haired James H J Tate now looks down on visitors to the building that went up during his first term as Mayor in the early 1960’s.

Frank Tate, son of former Philadelphia Mayor James H J Tate, and current Mayor Jim Kenney. (Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Frank Tate, son of former Philadelphia Mayor James H J Tate, and current Mayor Jim Kenney. (Credit: Paul Kurtz)

The portrait is a gift from his son and daughter. Frank Tate says the project was fraught with controversy that ultimately led to social and legal change:

“There was a lot of accusation in regards to open hiring when this building was being built. He negotiated with the unions and contractors and actually shut down the construction. The unions and contractors finally agreed to open hiring and that became a precedent for all city construction forever after.”

Indeed Tate is credited with passing many of the city’s anti-discrimination statutes. He also guided Philadelphia through the turbulent 1960’s when race riots and anti-war demonstrations broke out.

James Tate died in 1983.

 

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