The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #85
Much has been made of John Lindsay’s weaknesses as 103rd mayor of New York City. On the day of his inauguration the entire public transit staff went on strike. This was the first of several labor problems he encountered. He also served at a time of immense racial and civil unrest and bungled the cleanup after the epic blizzard of 1969. But his strengths are less noted. His 4-mile walk to work on his first day cut a dashing figure as the very picture of leadership. This took on far more serious overtones when he walked riot-torn Harlem in an effort to heal wounds after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. His greatest legacy is as the creator of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting, helping directors and producers cut through the red tape of filming on location in town he had once referred to as “Fun City”.
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