List of mayors of Pittsburgh

List of mayors of Pittsburgh

This a listing of past (and present) mayors (burgesses and recorders when noted) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

Mayor Term Party Notes
George Robinson (Pittsburgh) 1794–c. 1800 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh, Arrested by President George Washington for rebel activity during the Whiskey Rebellion
John Park (Pittsburgh) 1800–1801 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh
Dr. George Stevenson 1801–1802 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh
Isaac Craig 1802–1803 Federalist[1] "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh
James O'Hara 1803–1804 Federalist "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh, formerly 6th Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Revolutionary War veteran.
General Pressley Neville 1804–1805 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh, Revolutionary War veteran.
General John Wilkins c. 1805–c. 1812 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh, formerly 7th and last Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army
William Steele (Pittsburgh) 1812–1813 "Chief Burgess" of Borough of Pittsburgh
Ebenezer Denny 1816–1817 First "appointed" Mayor after city charter, resigned from office with health concerns, Revolutionary War veteran.
John Darragh 1817–1825 Appointed by City Council, formerly president of the bank of Pittsburgh.
John M. Snowden 1825–1828 Appointed by City Council, formerly president of the bank of Pittsburgh and county treasurer.
Magnus Miller Murray 1828–1830 Appointed by City Council
Matthew B. Lowrie 1830–1831 Anti-Masonic, Anti-Jackson Appointed by City Council, brother was a U.S. Senator and son became Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Magnus Miller Murray 1831–1832 Appointed by City Council
Samuel Pettigrew 1832–1836 Appointed by City Council, later won the first mayoral election
Dr. Jonas R. McClintock 1836–1839 Democrat Elected mayor at the age of 28, became the first man to assume the office from a general election, later led a Union company in the American Civil War.
William Little 1839–1840
William W. Irwin 1840–1841 Whig Elected to congress and appointed United States Ambassador to Denmark after leaving office.
James Thomson 1841–1842
Alexander Hay 1842–1845 After office he was commander in the Mexican War, and Captain in the Civil War.
William J. Howard 1845–1846 Longtime president of the "Guardians of the Poor" forerunner of the Salvation Army
Dr. William Kerr 1846–1847
Gabriel Adams 1847–1849 After office was appointed state judge
John Herron 1849–1850 Before office was a captain in the Mexican War, hero of the Siege of Veracruz.
Joseph Barker 1850–1851 Anti-Catholic E lected while serving a year in jail after protesting the Catholic Church, he was illiterate but popular during a xenophobic time in the nation. Uniquely he is probably the only elected leader in world history to meet his death by "train decapitation".
John B. Guthrie 1851–1853 Father of future mayor George Guthrie, served in Mexican War, was the long time Customs Collector for Pittsburgh
Robert M. Riddle 1853–1854 Republican Formerly Postmaster of Pittsburgh, oversaw Cholera epidemic response
Ferdinand E. Volz 1854–1856
William Bingham 1856–1857 Republican
Henry A. Weaver 1857–1860 After office served as U.S. Collector of Revenue for Pittsburgh
George Wilson 1860–1862 Formerly Pittsburgh Public Schools Director
Benair C. Sawyer 1862–1864 After office moved to Colorado then to California making a fortune in mining
James Lowry, Jr. 1864–1866
William C. McCarthy 1866–1868 Formerly a legend as a City Fire Fighter and commander, during administration ended the police practice of assuring "All is Well" on the hour, later served as City Controller.
James Blackmore 1868–1869 Formerly Chief Clerk of City
Jared M. Brush 1869–1872 Formerly City Councilor, served as a minister during the Civil War.
James Blackmore 1872–1875 Formerly Chief Clerk of City
William C. McCarthy 1875–1878 Formerly a legend as a Pittsburgh Fire Fighter and commander, during administration ended the police practice of assuring "All is Well" on the hour, later served as City Controller.
Robert Liddell 1878–1881 Before and after office was a Brewer and Liquor dealer.
Robert W. Lyon 1881–1884 Earned two Purple Hearts in the Civil War, Oil businessman before being elected, worked in a steel mill after leaving office.
Andrew "Andy" Fulton 1884–1887 former City Councilman; temporarily retired to breed horses in Colorado; later served as county director of the Division of Weights and Measures
William McCallin 1887–1890 former County Coroner and County Sherriff
Henry I. Gourley 1890–1893 former City Councilman; became city clerk after office
Bernard J. McKenna 1893–1896 former City Councilman and firefighter
Henry P. Ford 1896–1899 industrialist, with interests in the knife manufacturing.
William J. Diehl 1899–1901 Republican former Deputy Sheriff; impeached on corruption charges
Adam M. Brown 1901 former Court of Common Pleas Judge; California Gold Rush speculator; earned the nickname of "Major" due to his military service
Joseph O. Brown 1901–1903 former Allegheny County Prothonotary and city Director of Public Safety; died in office of a heart attack
William B. Hayes 1903–1906 Democrat industrialst, with interests in coal and lumber
George W. Guthrie 1906–1909 Republican attorney; son of former mayor John Guthrie; served as United States Ambassador to Japan after office.
William A. Magee 1909–1914 Republican former Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney and City Councilman
Joseph G. Armstrong 1914–1918 Republican former City Councilman and Allegheny County Coroner; nicknamed "Joe the Builder" for his extensive public works projects
Edward V. Babcock 1918–1922 Republican formerly City Councilman; later served as Allegheny County Commissioner; personally purchased 4,000 acres (16 km2) for county parklands. Purchased thousands of acres of south Florida timberland, estate sold to the state for conservation in the 1990s.
William A. Magee 1922–1926 Republican former City Council President
Charles H. Kline 1926–1933 Republican former State Representative and State Senator; convicted in 1932 by jury on 49 counts of corruption later, but charges later overturned on appeal; resigned due to party pressure over corruption charges
John S. Herron 1933–1934 Republican former City Council President
William N. McNair 1934–1936 Democrat idealistic attorney; commended for his honesty, but criticized for his inability to get along with city council or the bureaucracy; arrested in 1935 for failing to authorize the return of a fine to an illegal gambler whose conviction had been overturned; resigned due to political infighting and pressure from state party chairman David Lawrence
Cornelius D. "Conn" Scully 1936–1946 Democrat former City Council President; had his drivers license suspended for three months in 1943 for violating wartime gasoline rationing requirements
David L. Lawrence 1946–1959 Democrat named one of the all-time 50 greatest American mayors; elected Governor in 1958; had political career nearly ruined because of indictment over kickbacks in coal contracts, but was acquitted by grand jury; former Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and U.S. Collector of Revenue; considered a "king maker" by Democratic Party Conventions due to his crafting of compromise candidates of U.S. Presidents Truman and the Kennedy/Johnson tickets.
Thomas J. "Tom" Gallagher 1959 Democrat former State Representative and City Council President; ascended to position at age 75
Joseph M. "Joe" Barr 1959–1970 Democrat former State Senator
Peter F. "Pete" Flaherty 1970–1977 "Fusion" Democrat nominated by both parties former City Councilman; resigned after he was appoitned Deputy U.S. Attorney General by President Jimmy Carter; Democratic nominee for Governor in 1978, and for U.S. Senate in 1974 and 1980, losing all three races by close margins
Richard S. Caliguiri 1977–1988 Independent/Democrat former City Council President; won 1978 election as an independent, after initially deciding not to run due to a lack of support from party leaders; died in office from amyloidosis
Sophie F. Masloff 1988–1994 Democrat former City Council President; began her career in Pittsburgh politics as a City Hall secretary in 1929 at age 18
Thomas J. "Tom" Murphy, Jr. 1994–2006 Democrat former State Representative; was investigated by the U.S. Attorney and forced to sign non-indictment agreement stemming from allegations that the city's firefighters union was exempted from citywide pay cuts in exchange for electoral support
Robert E. "Bob" O'Connor, Jr. 2006 Democrat former City Council President; died in office from a brain tumor.
Luke R. Ravenstahl 2006–present Democrat former City Council President; ascended to position of mayor at age 26, making him the youngest mayor of a top 100 city.


  1. ^ Pencak, William (2010). Pennsylvania's Revolution. State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 245. ISBN 9780271035796. ""... in 1802, as a member of the Federalist Party, was elected ... chief burgess of the borough of Pittsburgh. This was an important position, roughly equivalent to a present-day mayoralty."" 


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