Edward J. Flynn

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Edward Joseph Flynn (September 22, 1891 The Bronx, then New York County, now Bronx County, New York City – August 18, 1953 Dublin, Republic of Ireland) was an American lawyer and politician. Flynn was a leading Democratic politician of the mid-1900s, known for his tight control of the Bronx Democratic Party organization after 1922.


Flynn was the youngest son of Henry T. Flynn and Sarah Mallon Flynn. He graduated from Fordham Law School in 1912, was admitted to the bar in June 1913, and practiced in the Bronx. On June 15, 1927, he married Helen Margaret Jones.

He entered politics as a Democrat; and was a member of the New York State Assembly (Bronx Co., 2nd D.) in 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1921.

He was Sheriff of Bronx County (1922–1925), Chamberlain of the City of New York (1926–1928), Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Bronx County Democratic Committee (1922–1953), Secretary of State of New York state (1929–1939), Democratic National Committeeman from New York (1930–1953), and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1940–1943). He was also the United States Commissioner General on the New York World's Fair Commission (1939-1940).

He was a close associate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for many years, and helped Roosevelt through all of his elections, but repeatedly refused offers of jobs in the Roosevelt Administration. He did accompany Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference remaining in Europe afterwords to carry out various missions for the president, until his trip was cut short by Roosevelt's death.

In 1947, Flynn published You're the Boss, a memoir of his experiences in politics.

Flynn was one of the driving forces behind Harry S. Truman's 1948 election victory.[1]

Flynn died in 1953 while on a visit to Ireland. His papers were given by his family to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, to be available for the public.

The phrase "in like Flynn" has sometimes been claimed to be a reference to Flynn, though its folk etymology more frequently associates it with actor Errol Flynn. Etymologist Eric Partridge presents evidence that candidates Flynn backed were almost automatically "in," citing usage during Flynn's life that refers to him.[2]


  1. McCullough, David (1992). Truman. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-86920-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Partridge, Eric (1986). A Dictionary of Catch Phrases. Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-05916-9

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
new district
New York State Assembly
Bronx County, 2nd District

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Robert Moses
Secretary of State of New York
Succeeded by
Michael F. Walsh