Mayor Anton Joseph Cermak Biography

Mayor of Chicago, 1931-1933

  • Democratic Party
  • Won primary election February 24, 1931; defeated John B. De Voney
  • Elected 44th mayor of Chicago April 7, 1931; defeated William Hale Thompson (Republican) in general election
  • Inauguration: April 9, 1931


  • Born May 9, 1873 in Kladno, Czechoslovakia
  • Spent first birthday at Ellis Island, 1874
  • Worked as a miner until he was fired in 1891.
  • Married Mary Horejs in 1894; together they had three daughters.
  • Went into business for himself, first selling wood, then in trucking; also worked in banking
  • Elected to Illinois Legislature in 1902, re-elected three times
  • Elected to Chicago City Council in 1909
  • Elected bailiff of Municipal court in 1912
  • Elected president of Cook County Board in 1922, re-elected twice
  • Upon being shot February 15, 1933 in Miami, told President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, “I’m glad it was me instead of you.” Cermak’s assassin, Giuseppe Zangara, was executed in the electric chair March 20, 1933 in Miami.
  • Died March 6, 1933 in Miami
  • Buried in Bohemian National Cemetery, Chicago


  • Edwards, Willard. "Death Takes Mayor Cermak." Chicago Daily Tribune, March 6, 1933, p. 1.
  • Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff, editors. Encyclopedia of Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • "Mrs. A. J. Cermak, Wife of County Board Head, Dies." Chicago Daily Tribune, November 24, 1928, p. 16.
  • "Some of Principal Events in Career of Mayor Cermak." Chicago Daily Tribune, March 7, 1933, p. 4.
  • "Zangara Dies for Murder of Mayor Cermak" Chicago Daily Tribune, March 21 1933, p. 5.
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