Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Tom Loftin Johnson, mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1901 to 1909, was once hailed by a contemporary as "The outstanding municipal executive so far produced in United States history." Indeed, this judgment probably holds true even to the present day. Johnson's drive, combined with his uncompromising dedication to justice, dominated Cleveland politics and invigorated a city which had lost all sense of civic pride and responsibility. Johnson also brought a new vitality to American reform in the cities. His battles for three cent fares on the municipal street railway system, municipal ownership of public utilities, home rule, equal taxation and public improvements in the form of new parks, police and social reform, set standards for other urban reformers and spurred the Progressive movement in the cities.

This thesis views Tom Johnson in a favorable light; his accomplishments as mayor far outweigh the shortcomings of his administration. He deserves far more recognition for his work in Cleveland than is presently given.