William Hale Thompson [between 1911 and 1917]

William Hale Thompson (1869 - 1944) served as the mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923 and 1927 to 1931. Known as ?Big Bill? he was the last Republican to be elected mayor of Chicago. In 1923, Clarence Darrow helped defend Fred Lundin, a friend of Mayor Thompson, and twenty-three others who were accused of stealing more than a million dollars from the Chicago public schools. There appeared to be overwhelming evidence of guilt but Lundin and the others were found not guilty. During the Lundin investigation Mayor Thompson decided not to run for re-election. But the acquittal of Lundin and the other defendants allowed Thompson and his administration to escape without any convictions. This allowed Thompson to be elected mayor in 1927 because of Al Capone's support. This last Thompson administration was even more corrupt than his previous administrations and Thompson is widely viewed as being one of the most corrupt mayors in the history of the United States. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-hec-07050