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Francis X. Ahearn
President of the Boston City Council

In office
1953–1954
Preceded by Gabriel F. Piemonte
Succeeded by Joseph C. White
Member of the Boston City Council

In office
1952–1958
Personal details
Born Francis Xavier Ahearn
(1917-02-26)February 26, 1917
Brighton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died December 12, 2006(2006-12-12) (aged 89)
Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Doris E. Johnson
Children 2
Signature
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1944–1958[1]
Rank Lieutenant (junior grade)[1]
Unit Naval Station Pearl Harbor

Francis Xavier Ahearn[2] (February 26, 1917 – December 12, 2006) was an American politician who served on the Boston City Council from 1952 to 1958. He was the council president in 1953.

Early life[]

Ahearn was born on February 26, 1917 in Brighton.[3][4] He graduated from Boston College in 1940 with a degree in economics and went on to attend Boston College Law School. In 1940 he married Doris E. Johnson, whom he first met when they attended junior high school.[3] The couple had two sons, one of whom, Rick Ahearn, also became involved in politics.[3][5] During World War II, Ahearn served in the United States Navy as a legal officer at the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor.[3][6] After the war, Ahearn worked as an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School and Calvin Coolidge Law School/New England School of Law.[3]

Political career[]

During the late 1940s, Ahearn served as the chairman of the Plan E for Boston Committee, a group that wanted the city to adopt a council/manager form of government.[7]

In 1951, Ahearn was elected to the Boston City Council. The following year he was elected council president. As council president, Ahearn served as acting mayor on several occasions when Mayor John Hynes was unavailable, including when President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Boston.[3]

On March 8, 1957, Ahearn was appointed First Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth. He completed his term as councilor, but did not run for reelection.[6] In 1960, Ahearn was a candidate for Secretary of the Commonwealth. He lost in the Democratic primary to attorney Kevin White. He received 37% of the vote compared to White's 39%, with Margaret McGovern, Boston's assistant corporation counsel, receiving the remaining 24%.[8]

In 1962, Ahearn unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.[3]

Later life and death[]

After leaving the Secretary's office, Ahearn served as chief legal counsel to the State Appellate Tax Board.[5][9] He resided and practiced law in both Brighton and Cotuit, Massachusetts.[3][4] He died on December 12, 2006 at a rehabilitation facility in Bourne, Massachusetts.[3] He was survived by his wife Doris and their two children.[3]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Register of Retired Commissioned and Warrant Officers, Regular and Reserve, of the United States Navy and Marine Corps
  2. Boston College bulletin (1940)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Corcoran, Michael P. (December 19, 2006). "Francis X. Ahearn, 89; was Boston City Council president; Francis X. Ahearn, 89; was council president, state aide". The Boston Globe. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Francis X. Ahearn". Tributes, Inc.. http://www.tributes.com/obituary/show/Francis-X.-Ahearn-79182527. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Short Circuits". The Boston Globe. April 5, 1981. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Cronin Names Ahearn Deputy State Secretary". The Boston Daily Globe. March 9, 1957. 
  7. "'Plan 'Groups' Race for Names Awaits, Court's Decision". The Boston Daily Globe. February 11, 1949. 
  8. Massachusetts Election Statistics 1960. pp. 450. https://archive.org/stream/electionstatisti1964mass#page/450/mode/2up. 
  9. "'Job Buying' Alleged In Brookline Election". The Boston Globe. April 16, 1964. 
Preceded by
Gabriel F. Piemonte
President of the Boston City Council
1953
Succeeded by
Joseph C. White

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