Mayor William Hale Thompson Biography

Mayor of Chicago, 1915-1923, 1927-1931

  • Republican Party

  • Won primary election February 23, 1915, defeating Jacob A. Hey and Harry Olson
  • Elected 41st mayor of Chicago April 6, 1915; defeated John H. Hill (Prohibition), Seymour Stedman (Socialist), Robert M. Sweitzer (Democrat) and Charles Thomson (Progressive) in general election
  • Won primary election February 25, 1919, defeating Charles E. Merriam and Harry Olson
  • Elected to second term April 1, 1919; defeated Adolph S. Carm (Socialist Labor), John Collins (Socialist), John Fitzpatrick (Labor), Maclay Hoyne (Independent) and Robert M. Sweitzer (Democrat) in general election
  • Won primary election February 22, 1927, defeating Edward R. Litsinger and Eugene McCaffrey
  • Elected 43rd mayor of Chicago (third term) April 5, 1927; defeated William E. Dever (Democrat) and J.D. Robertson (People’s Ownership Smash Crime Rings) in general election.
  • Inauguration to first term: April 26, 1915
  • Inauguration to second term: April 18, 1919
  • Inauguration to third term: April 18, 1927


  • Born May 14, 1869 in Boston
  • In his youth, he went west and became a cowboy and later a manager of a cattle ranch in New Mexico.
  • Returned to Chicago in 1892 to manage his father’s estate
  • Elected alderman of the 2nd Ward in 1901
  • Married Miss Mary “Maysie” Walker Wyse in 1901; they had no children.
  • Member of the county board in 1902
  • Died March 19, 1944 in Chicago
  • Buried in Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago


  • "Bride of Ald. William Hale Thompson." Chicago Daily Tribune, December 20, 1901, p. 3.
  • Grossman, James R., Ann Durkin Keating and Janice L. Reiff, editors. Encyclopedia of Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 2004.
  • "W. H. Thompson, 3 Times Mayor of Chicago, Dies." Chicago Daily Tribune, March 20, 1944, p. 16.
  • "W. H. Thompson Funeral is Set for Tomorrow." Chicago Daily Tribune, March 21, 1944, p. 16.
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