MOSES, ROBERT

MOSES, ROBERT
MOSES, ROBERT (1888–1981), U.S. parks and highways developer. Moses was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to well-to-do Spanish-Jewish parents. He denied his Jewish affiliation. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University in 1911 and 1913, respectively. In 1914 he received a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, writing his dissertation on British colonial administration. It was published as Civil Service of Great Britain (1914). He later wrote Theory and Practice in Politics (1939), Working for the People (1956), La Guardia: A Salute and a Memoir (1957), A   Tribute to Governor Smith (1962), and Public Works: A Dangerous Trade (1970). In 1919 Moses joined the staff of Governor Alfred E. Smith and served as chief of staff of a New York State commission on administrative reorganization. He then began his long career on state parks and highways agencies as president of the New York State Council of Parks (1924–63) and chairman of the Long Island State Parks Commission (1924–63). He also served as secretary of state for New York (1927–28). In 1934 Moses was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of New York. In 1934 Moses became Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's parks commissioner, a post he held under four mayors (to 1960). As commissioner, he inaugurated massive public works of the New Deal type. He was responsible, for example, for construction of the Triborough Bridge structures (dedicated 1936); Grand Central Parkway; Belt Parkway; West Side Highway and Henry Hudson Parkway, in Manhattan and the Bronx; East River (later called the Franklin D. Roosevelt) and Harlem River Drive, in Manhattan; Fire Island State Park; the Niagara power plant; and the Coliseum convention hall in Manhattan. His department developed 15 outdoor swimming pools, 84 miles of parkways, and 17 miles of beaches, including Jones Beach. The park acreage in New York City was increased from 14,000 acres to 34,673 acres. On the social level, he provided full entry for the city's working-class communities into a recreational world previously reserved for the middle and upper classes. Moses also served as city construction coordinator (1946–60); as chairman of the Jones Beach State Parkway Authority (1933–63); as member (1934) and then chairman (1936–46) of the Triborough Bridge Authority and of the Consolidated Triborough Bridge and City Tunnel Authority (1946–68); as sole member (1938) of the New York City Parkway Authority; as chairman of the state committee on postwar employment (1948); and as chief consultant on public works to the federal Hoover Commission on Reorganization of the Executive Branch (1948). Among the city buildings he constructed were Shea Stadium, Lincoln Center, and the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. Impatient for results, Moses was known as "the man who got things done." Outspoken and single-minded, he was frequently embroiled in controversies in which he displayed his acerbic wit and combative style. By the late 1950s, however, there was growing public resentment about his aggressive urban reconstruction programs. In 1960, Mayor Robert F. Wagner moved him out of his city positions to run the New York World's Fair of 1964. Under the administration of Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Moses lost his positions in New York State and thus left state government in 1968. Finally, in 1972, Mayor John Lindsay refused to reappoint him to the Triborough Authority, which essentially ended Moses' career. Considered the single most powerful individual in the city and state of New York in the 20th century, Moses was the most influential nonfederal public official in the U.S. of his time without ever being elected to public office. Some of the landmarks named in his honor include the Robert Moses State Park in Long Island; Robert Moses State Park at Massena; the Robert Moses Causeway on Long Island; the Robert Moses Parkway at Niagara; and the dams at Niagara and Massena. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Rodgers, Robert Moses: Builder for Democracy (1952). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Schwartz, The New York Approach (1993); B. Nicholson, Hi Ho, Come to the Fair (1990); E. Lewis, Public Entrepreneurship (1980); R. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (1975); (Richard Skolnik / Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Moses,Robert — Moses, Robert. 1888 1981. American public official who planned many important public works and buildings in New York City, including Lincoln Center and the United Nations complex. * * * …   Universalium

  • Moses, Robert — born Dec. 18, 1888, New Haven, Conn., U.S. died July 29, 1981, West Islip, N.Y. U.S. public official. He began his long career in public service in New York City s bureau of municipal research. In 1919 Gov. Alfred E. Smith appointed him chief of… …   Universalium

  • Moses, Robert — (18 dic. 1888, New Haven, Conn., EE.UU.–29 jul. 1981, West Islip, N.Y.). Funcionario público estadounidense. Inició su dilatada carrera en la oficina de investigación municipal de Nueva York. En 1919 el gob. Alfred E. Smith lo nombró jefe del… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • MOSES — bezeichnet: Mose, Musa oder Moses, die Zentralfigur des „Pentateuch“, führte der biblischen Überlieferung zufolge die Israeliten aus Ägypten in das kanaanäische Land Pentateuch, die „Fünf Bücher Moses“ (440 v. Chr.) in der jüdischen Tora und im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Moses — (18 décembre 1888 à New Haven (Connecticut) 29 juillet 1981) est un urbaniste américain, artisan de la rénovation de New York entre 1930 et 1970. Son père est un commerçant réput …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Moses — Moses, Grandma * * * (as used in expressions) Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph Kunstler, William (Moses) Moses ben Maimon Mendelssohn, Moses Moses ben Menachem Moses ben Shem Tov Moses, Edwin Moses, Grandma Moses, Robert Phoebe Anne Moses …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Moses — Infobox Person name = Robert Moses caption = Robert Moses with a model of his proposed Battery Bridge birth date = birth date|1888|12|18 birth place = New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. death date = death date and age|1981|7|29|1888|12|18 death place …   Wikipedia

  • Moses — /moh ziz, zis/, n. 1. the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered the Law during their years of wandering in the wilderness. 2. a male given name. /moh ziz, zis/, n. 1. Anna Mary Robertson ( Grandma Moses ), 1860 1961,… …   Universalium

  • Robert — /rob euhrt/, n. 1. Henry Martyn /mahr tn/, 1837 1923, U.S. engineer and authority on parliamentary procedure: author of Robert s Rules of Order (1876, revised 1915). 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning glory and bright. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Robert — (as used in expressions) Adam, Robert Aldrich, Robert Altman, Robert (B.) Ashe, Arthur (Robert), Jr. Baden Powell (de Gilwell), Robert Stephenson Smyth, 1 barón Bakewell, Robert Baldwin, Robert Ballard Robert D(uane) Bly, Robert (Elwood) Borden,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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