Thomas F. X. Smith bigraphy, stories - American politician

Thomas F. X. Smith : biography

July 5, 1928 - May 31, 1996

Thomas Francis Xavier Smith (July 5, 1928 – May 31, 1996) was a reformist politician and author. He served as mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, from 1977 to 1981.

Personal life

Smith attended St. Peter's Preparatory School in Jersey City. He was a star basketball player at Saint Peter's College, New Jersey, where he earned an undergraduate degree with a major in English, and received a master's degree from Fordham University in educational psychology. He was director of placement at St. Peter's and a vice president of Hudson County Community College.

Smith played for the New York Knicks in 1951, appearing in a single game, in which he played three minutes and scored four points., Accessed June 29, 2007.

Smith died of cancer in 1996, and is buried in Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City.


Smith was affectionately known as "The Mouth That Roared" due to his outspoken criticism of the political cronyism and corruption for which Hudson County had long been infamous. Smith left the mayor's office for a bid for Governor of New Jersey in 1981, in which he finished sixth in a field of 13 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, and was unsuccessful in a subsequent bid for the mayoralty of Jersey City in 1989.Goodnough, Abby. , The New York Times, June 5, 1996. Accessed April 1, 2008. "During his term, he wrote "The Powerticians," a history of Hudson County politics peppered with his own recollections.... Known for his scrappiness, Mr. Smith once confronted President Jimmy Carter with demands for more urban aid, an encounter that inspired White House aides to call him "the mouth that roared."

Smith wrote Powerticians, a history of Jersey City politics and the attempts to remove the city from the grip of the political machine created by Frank Hague, Hudson County political boss and sometimes mayor of Jersey City. The book was published by Lyle Stuart, Inc., of Secaucus, New Jersey, in 1982. (ISBN 0-8184-0328-4).

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