William M. Tweed Biography
(Member of the New York Senate from the 4th district (1868-73))
Birthday: April 3, 1823 (Aries)
Born In: New York, New York, United States
William M. Tweed was an American politician notorious for his involvement in political corruption. Also referred to as “Boss” Tweed, he was the boss of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City and State. Born as the son of a third-generation Scottish-Irish chair-maker in Manhattan, he dropped out from school at the age of 11 to learn his father’s trade. He then apprenticed with a saddle maker and went on to work as a brush-maker before joining the family business. Tweed also joined a volunteer fire company. At that time, volunteer fire companies were also recruiting grounds for political parties and thus he came in contact with prominent politicians and went on to join politics himself. He won a term in Congress and gradually strengthened his position in Tammany Hall (the executive committee of New York City’s Democratic Party organization). Over the next few years he established himself as a very powerful politician, exercising great control over the politics in New York City. He gained notoriety for his involvement in political corruption and before long became a millionaire and the third largest land owner in Manhattan. Ultimately he was convicted for stealing millions of dollars and imprisoned. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail.