Philadelphia Information Locator Service
The Philadelphia City Archives

Mayors of the City of Philadelphia

Colonial Mayors

The first mayor of Philadelphia, Humphrey Morrey was appointed by William Penn, Proprietor of the colony of Pennsylvania. Under the provisions of the Charter of 1701, Edward Shippen was named Mayor of Philadelphia for a one-year term. Starting in 1702, the Common Council of Philadelphia elected a Mayor from among their members.

Name of MayorDate Term
Other Information
Humphrey Morrey5/20/16911
Edward Shippen10/25/17012
Edward Shippen10/24/17023
Anthony Morris10/5/17034
Griffith Jones10/3/17045
Joseph Willcox10/2/17056
Nathan Stanbury10/1/17067Thomas Story refused election
Thomas Masters10/7/17078
Thomas Masters10/5/17089Elected by 14 votes
Richard Hill10/4/170910
William Carter10/3/171011
Samuel Preston10/2/171112
Jonathan Dickinson10/7/171213
George Roch10/6/171314
Richard Hill10/5/171415
Richard Hill10/4/171516
Richard Hill10/2/171617
Jonathan Dickinson10/1/171718Richard Hill refused election
Jonathan Dickinson10/7/171819
William Fishbourn10/6/171920
William Fishbourn10/4/172021
William Fishbourn10/3/172122
James Logan10/2/172223Isaac Norris refused election
Clement Plumsted10/1/172324
Isaac Norris10/6/172425
William Hudson10/5/172526
Charles Read10/4/172627
Thomas Lawrence10/3/172728
Thomas Lawrence10/2/172829
Thomas Griffitts10/7/172930
Thomas Griffitts10/6/173031
Samuel Hasell10/6/173132
Samuel Hasell10/3/173233
Thomas Griffitts10/2/173334
Thomas Lawrence10/1/173435
William Allen10/7/173536
Clement Plumsted10/5/173637
Thomas Griffitts10/4/173738
Anthony Morris10/3/173839
Edward Roberts10/2/173940
Samuel Hasell10/7/174041
Clement Plumsted10/6/174142
William Till10/5/174243
Benjamin Shoemaker10/4/174344
Edward Shippen10/2/174445
James Hamilton10/1/174546Alexander Taylor and Joseph Turner,
refused election to the office of mayor
William Attwood10/7/174647
William Attwood10/9/174748Anthony Morris elected 10-6-1747,
disappeared as to not accept or refuse office.
Charles Willing10/4/174849
Thomas Lawrence10/3/174950
William Plumsted10/2/175051
Robert Strettell10/1/175152
Benjamin Shoemaker10/3/175253
Thomas Lawrence10/2/175354
Charles Willing4/25/175455Replaced Thomas Lawrence, deceased
Charles Willing10/1/175456
William Plumsted12/4/175457Replaced Charles Willing, deceased
William Plumsted10/7/175558
Attwood Shute10/5/175659
Attwood Shute10/4/175760
Thomas Lawrence10/15/175861John Mifflin refused election10/3/1758;
Alexander Stedman refused 10/4/1758;
William Coxe pleaded illness 10/15/1758
John Stamper10/2/175962
Benjamin Shoemaker10/7/176063
Jacob Duche10/6/176164Samuel Mifflin refused election
Henry Harrison10/5/176265William Coxe & Daniel Benezet, refused election
Thomas Willing10/4/176366
Thomas Lawrence10/2/176467
John Lawrence10/1/176568
John Lawrence10/7/176669
Isaac Jones10/6/176770
Isaac Jones10/4/176871
Samuel Shoemaker10/3/176972
Samuel Shoemaker10/2/177073
John Gibson10/1/177174
John Gibson10/6/177275
William Fisher10/5/177376
Samuel Rhoads10/4/177477
Samuel Powel10/5/177578

In 1776, the city government was abolished and the city functions were operated by the Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. The state government continued to run the city until a new charter for the city was granted on 11 March 1789 under an Act of Assembly approved on that date. No change in the election of the Mayor occurred from Colonial practices.

However, beginning in 1826, the Council had the right to elect any citizen of Philadelphia as Mayor, not just a member of Council. In 1839, the general electorate was first permitted to vote directly for Mayor. If no candidate won a majority of the popular vote, then the joint Councils of Philadelphia (Select and Common) would decide among the two leading candidates. John Swift became the first Mayor elected directly by the people in Philadelphia in the 1840 election.

Mayors of Philadelphia
1789 - 1854

Name of MayorDate Term
Election ResultsOther Information
Samuel Powel4/11/178979
Samuel Miles4/12/179080
John Barclay4/13/179181
Matthew Clarkson4/13/179282John Barclay & George Roberts, refusing
Matthew Clarkson4/3/179383
Matthew Clarkson4/15/179484
Matthew Clarkson4/6/179585
Matthew Clarkson5/5/179686
Hilary Baker10/18/179687
Hilary Baker10/17/179788
Robert Wharton10/16/179889
Robert Wharton10/11/179990Won by vote of 21-0
John Inskeep10/21/180091Won by vote of 26-0Elected after Robert Wharton declined nomination.
Matthew Lawler10/16/180192Matthew Lawler 23, John Clement Stocker 8
Matthew Lawler10/19/180293Matthew Lawler 25, Robert Wharton 3
Matthew Lawler10/18/180394
Matthew Lawler10/16/180495Won by vote of 24-0
John Inskeep10/15/180596John Inskeep 23, Matthew Lawler 2
Robert Wharton10/21/180697
Robert Wharton10/20/180798
John Barker10/18/180799
John Barker10/17/1809100
Robert Wharton10/16/1810101
Michael Keppele10/15/1811102Robert Wharton declined
John Barker10/20/1812103John Barker 21; Robert Wharton 8; John Geyer 2
John Geyer10/19/1813104John Geyer 21; Robert Wharton 4; John Barker 4
Robert Wharton10/18/1814105Robert Wharton 23; John Geyer 5
Robert Wharton10/17/1815106
Robert Wharton10/15/1816107Elected unanimously
Robert Wharton10/21/1817108Elected unanimously
Robert Wharton10/20/1818109Elected unanimously
James Nelson Barker10/19/1819110J.N. Barker 17, M. Lawler 11,
R. Wharton 1
Elected on 5th Ballot
Robert Wharton10/17/1820111R. Wharton 24, J. N. Barker 2, J. Geyer 1
Robert Wharton10/16/1821112Won by vote of 26-0
Robert Wharton10/15/1822113Won by vote of 29-0
Robert Wharton10/21/1823114Won by vote of 27-0
Joseph Watson10/19/1824115Won by vote of 25-0
Joseph Watson10/18/1825116J. Watson 26; James N. Barker 1; Samuel Badger 1
Joseph Watson10/18/1826117Won by vote of 25-0
Joseph Watson10/16/1827118Won by vote of 25-0
George Mifflin Dallas10/21/1828119G. M. Dallas 24; Joseph Watson 6
Benjamin Wood Richards4/15/1829120Replaced George M. Dallas, who resigned.
William Milnor10/20/1829121W. Milnor 17; B. W. Richards 14; John Swift 1
Benjamin Wood Richards10/19/1830122Won by vote of 32-0
Benjamin Wood Richards10/18/1831123Won by vote of 31-0
John Swift10/16/1832124J. Swift 19; Samuel Rush 10Elected on 2nd ballot
John Swift10/15/1833125Won by vote of 29-0
John Swift10/21/1834126Elected unanimously
John Swift10/20/1835127J. Swift 19; Joseph Watson 11
John Swift10/18/1836128Won by vote of 28-0
John Swift10/17/1837129Won by vote of 30-0
Isaac Roach10/16/1838130I. Roach 18; J. Swift 14; John C. Montgomery 1
John Swift10/15/1839131Swift: 3,343; John K. Kane: 3,294; John C. Montgomery: 2,670Swift won Council vote 26-0. First election by popular vote.
As no candidate received majority, Council voted among the two top candidates
John Swift10/20/1840132Swift: 6,355; Henry Horn: 4,820First Mayor to be elected solely by popular vote.
John Morin Scott10/19/1841133Scott: 5,658; Samuel Badger: 4,693
John Morin Scott10/18/1842134Scott: 6,145; Richard Vaux 5,065; Others: 3
John Morin Scott10/10/1843135Scott: 6,585; Samuel H. Perkins: 3,976; Others: 3
Peter McCall10/15/1844136McCall (W): 5,506; Elhanan W. Keyser (Native Am.): 5,065; Samuel Badger (D): 4,032; Others: 7 Councils selected Peter McCall by vote of 30-0.
John Swift10/21/1845137Swift: 4,979; Elhanan W. Keyser: 4,538; James Page: 3,946; John Bouvier: 78 Councils selected John Swift by a vote of 31-0.
John Swift10/20/1846138Swift: 5,562; Richard Vaux: 3,402; Peter A. Brown: 3,244; Thomas Hansell: 31; Others: 11Councils selected John Swift by a vote of 30-0.
John Swift10/19/1847139Swift: 6.046; J. Altamont Phillips: 3,550; Peter Fritz: 2,530; James Hansell: 10; John M. Scott: 2; Others: 8Councils selected John Swift by a vote of 29-0.
John Swift10/17/1848140Swift: 8,440; Samuel Badger: 5,079; Thomas Wattson: 75
Joel Jones10/16/1849141Jones (Ind.): 6,429; Charles Gilpin (Whig): 6,364; Other: 16
Charles Gilpin10/15/1850142Gilpin (W): 7,363; Joel Jones: 5,081; W. J. A. Birkey: 46; Others: 16
Charles Gilpin10/21/1851143Gilpin (W): 9,275; John Swift (D): 3,934
Charles Gilpin10/19/1852144Gilpin (W): 8,792; William Badger: 4,328; John S. Warner: 408
Charles Gilpin10/18/1853145Gilpin (W): 8,002; John Thompson: 4,392

On 2 February 1854, the Act of Assembly passed by the Pennsylvania Assembly which called for the Consolidation of the city and county of Philadelphia into one political and geographical unit was approved by the governor of Pennsylvania, William Bigler. This Act extended the term of the mayor from one to two years. Under provisions of the Act of 12 April 1861, the election was changed to the second Tuesday in October, and the term of Mayor extended to three years. The term started on the first Monday in January.

By the State Constitution of 1873, which went in to operation in January 1874, all elections for city and ward officers were changed to the third Tuesday in February.

By the Act of 10 March 1875, the term of Mayor was extended from January to April. The inaugeration of Mayor would be held on the first Monday of April.

Under the provisions of the Act of 1 June1885 (known as the Bullitt Bill), which reorganized city government beginning on 1 January 1887, the term reached its current length of four years.

A schedule of amendements to the State Constitution approved on 2 November 1909 extended the term of Mayor from the first Monday in April to the first Monday in December. An Act of 2 March 1911 provided that the term of Mayor shall hereafter begin on the first Monday in January following their election.

The City Charters of 1919 and 1951 did not disturb the length of the term served by the Mayor. The Act of1885 prohibited any mayor from succeeding himself. This prohibition was not lifted until the 1940s. Currently, under the terms of the Charter of 1951 (Philadelphia Home Rule Charter), a mayor may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Mayors of Philadelphia

Name of MayorDate Term
Election ResultsOther Information
Robert Thomas Conrad6/13/1854146Conrad (Whig): 29,507; Richard Vaux (Dem.) 21,011First Mayor of Consolidated City of Philadelphia. Two-year term established under the Act of Consolidation
Richard Vaux5/13/1856147Vaux (D): 29,534; Henry D. Moore (Am. Republican): 25,445; William B. Thomas: 275
Alexander Henry5/11/1858148Henry (People's): 33,868; Richard Vaux (D): 28,934; C. Neal: 1; F. Pierson: 1
Alexander Henry5/8/1860149Henry (R): 36,658; John Robbins (D): 35,776
Alexander Henry1/1/1863150Henry (R): 34,613; Daniel Fox (D) 30,049 Three-year term established.
Morton McMichael1/1/1866151 McMichael (R): 44,617; Daniel Fox (D): 39,511
Daniel Fox1/1/1869152Fox (D): 61,517; Hector Tynsdale (R): 59,679
William Strumberg Stokley1/1/1872153Stokley (R): 58,508; James S. Biddle (D.-Reform): 50,307
William Strumberg Stokley1/1/1875154Stokley (R): 60,128; Alexander K. McClure (Ind. & D.): 49,133
William Strumberg Stokley1/1/1878155Stokley (R): 64,779; Joseph L. Caven (D. & Ind.): 61,913
Samuel George King4/4/1881156King (D. & Citizens' Comm.): 78,215; William S. Stokley (R): 72,428; A.C. Baird (Greenback): 151
William Burns Smith4/7/1884157W. B. Smith (R): 79,552; Samuel G. King (D): 70,440
Edwin Henry Fitler4/4/1887158Fitler (R): 90,211; George deBenneville Keim (D): 62,2634-year term established.
Edwin Sydney Stuart4/6/1891159Stuart (R): 108,978; Albert H. Lardner (D): 69,913
Charles Franklin Warwick4/1/1895160Warwick (R): 137,863; Robert E. Pattison (D): 79,879
Samuel Howell Ashbridge4/3/1899161Ashbridge (R-Ind.): 145,778; Hoskins (D): 23,557; Bryan (Peo): 1,701; Eavenson (Pro.): 1,233; Hetzel (S.T.): 671
John Weaver4/6/1903162Weaver (R): 168,781; Francis Fisher Kane (D): 32,769; Howard H. Caldwell: (Soc.): 1,500; Alfred D. Calvert: (Pro.) 1,015
John Edger Reyburn4/1/1907163Reyburn: (R-Jeffersonian) 130,585; William Potter: (City-Dem.) 97,582; Charles Sehl: (Soc.) 1,649; L.L. Eavenson (Pro.): 405
Rudolph Blankenburg12/4/1911164Blankenburg (Keystone-Democrat): 134,680; George H. Earle, Jr. (R): 130,185
Thomas B. Smith1/3/1916165T. B. Smith (R): 166,643; George D. Porter (Franklin): 88,135; D. Gordon Bromley (D): 4,741
Joseph Hampton Moore1/5/1920166Moore (R): 227,739; Harry Wescott (D): 30,408; Joseph S. McLaughlin (Charterite): 17,900; Charles Bauer (Socialist): 6,320
W. Freeland Kendrick1/7/1924167Kendrick (R): 286,398; A. Raymond Raff (D): 37,239
Harry Arista Mackey1/2/1928168Mackey (R): 296,959; J. Hampton Moore (Citizens'): 128,611; Thomas A. Logue (D): 9.902; J.S. McLaughlin (Charterite): 3,605
Joseph Hampton Moore1/4/1932169Moore (R): 362,329; Michael Donahue (D): 31,330
Samuel Davis Wilson1/6/1936170Wilson (R): 379,222; John B. Kelly (D): 333,825
George Connell8/19/1939171Acting Mayor upon death of S. Davis Wilson.
Robert Eneas Lamberton1/1/1940172Lamberton (R): 398,384; Robert C. White (D): 361,143
Bernard Samuel8/22/1941173Acting Mayor upon death of Robert Lamberton
Bernard Samuel1/3/1944174Samuel (R): 346,297; William C. Bullitt (D): 282,832
Bernard Samuel1/5/1948175Samuel (R): 413,091; Richardson Dilworth (D): 321,469
Joseph Sill Clark Jr.1/7/1952176Clark (D): 448,983; Daniel A. Poling (R): 324,283
Richardson Dilworth1/2/1956177Dilworth (D): 423,035; W. Thatcher Longstreth (R): 293,329
Richardson Dilworth1/4/1960178Dilworth (D): 438,278; Harold Stassen (R): 229,818
James Hugh Joseph Tate2/13/1962179Assumed Mayoralty upon resignation of R. Dilworth on 2/12/1962.
James Hugh Joseph Tate1/6/1964180Tate (D): 401,714; James T. McDermott (R): 333,446
James Hugh Joseph Tate1/1/1968181Tate (D): 353,326; Arlen Specter (R): 342,398; Joseph J. Frieri (Constitutional) 9,931; Cecil B. Moore (Political Freedom Rights): 9,031;Leonard L. Smalls (Cons.) 6,675
Frank Lazarro Rizzo1/3/1972182Rizzo (D): 394,067; W. Thatcher Longstreth (R): 345,912; Joseph J. Frieri (Constitutional) 2,456; Clarissa Cain (Cons.) 1,054; George S. Taylor (Soc. Labor): 948; Jean Savage (Soc. Workers), 919
Frank Lazarro Rizzo1/5/1976183Rizzo (D): 311,879; Charles W. Bowser (I): 134,334; Thomas Foglietta (R): 101,001
William Joseph Green III1/7/1980184Green (D): 313,345; David W. Marston (R): 174,083; Lucien Blackwell (Consumer): 108,447
Willie Wilson Goode1/2/1984185Goode (D): 396,266; John Egan (R): 263,742; Thomas Leonard (Ind): 57,146
Willie Wilson Goode1/4/1988186Goode (D): 333,254; F.L. Rizzo (R): 319,053
Edward Gene Rendell1/6/1992187Rendell (D): 281,751; Joseph M. Egan, Jr. (R): 130,478
Edward Gene Rendell1/1/1996188Rendell (D): 232,798; M. Joseph Rocks (R): 63,131; Lance Haver (Consumer): 6.872; Deborah O. Liatos (Socialist): 1,365
John F. Street1/3/2000189Street (D): 211,136; Sam Katz (R): 203,908
John F. Street1/5/2004190Street (D): 267,230; Sam Katz (R): 189,357; John Staggs (Socialist Workers): 1,291
Michael Nutter1/7/2008191Street (D): 222,583; Al Taubenberger (R): 46,209; John Staggs (Socialist Workers): 1,001

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Last updated on 13 January 1998.