Carmine De Sapio, 95, a New York political boss of the 1950s and 1960s and the last boss of New York City's Tammany Hall political organization, died July 27 at a hospital in New York. No cause of death was reported.
In his heyday, Mr. De Sapio's political muscle stretched from City Hall to the White House after he orchestrated the post-World War II revival of the powerful Tammany Hall machine.
Tammany Hall, as the Manhattan Democratic Party was once known, had declined in the 1930s after dominating New York politics for nearly a century.
Mr. De Sapio revived Tammany after World War II, successfully promoting the election of Robert Wagner as mayor in 1953 and W. Averell Harriman as governor in 1954. He became such a power broker that Time magazine put him on its cover, while political writers speculated on his influence over the Democratic presidential nominee.
He tried to distance himself from Tammany Hall predecessors such as William "Boss" Tweed, the infamous 19th-century Democratic Party boss who died in prison serving a sentence for corruption.
Mr. De Sapio also pushed a progressive agenda. He named the first Puerto Rican district leader in Manhattan and backed Manhattan's first black borough president. He also supported legislation such as the Fair Employment Practices Law pushed by President Harry S. Truman and endorsed rent control and lowering the voting age to 18.
Still, Mr. De Sapio was dogged by charges that he courted organized crime and was corrupt himself. He was accused of staffing city government with clubhouse hacks and steered city contracts to a company that state officials said cheated taxpayers out of millions of dollars.
Mr. De Sapio's leadership came under increasing attack from reformers in the Democratic party. He was linked by Senate investigators to New York mob boss Frank Costello.
Mr. De Sapio also inadvertently helped launch the career of another New York politician: Edward Koch. The future mayor of New York was no fan of Mr. De Sapio's, and he joined a reform club in Greenwich Village that opposed the old-style Democratic machine.
Mr. De Sapio lost his position as Greenwich Village's district leader in 1961, ending a two-decade run in the position. When Mr. De Sapio tried to make a comeback, he was defeated by Koch, who was aligned with the reform Village Independent Democrats.
Eventually, Mr. De Sapio was denounced as corrupt and authoritarian and abandoned by allies. In 1969, he was convicted of petty bribery and was later sent to prison.
His wife, Theresa Natale, whom he had married in 1937, died in 1998. Survivors include a daughter.