If Steve McQueen was the King of Cool, John V. Lindsay was without a doubt the Mayor of Cool. He was in fact mayor of New York City from 1966 – 1973, and though not exactly the blue-blooded WASP some make him out to be, he certainly exuded an aristocratic elegance and a Kennedy-esque sense of effortless style. A graduate of the Buckley School, St. Paul’s School and Yale, where he joined Scroll and Key, the tall, athletic Lindsay was a Navy gunnery officer during World War II, earning five battle stars through action in the invasion of Sicily and a series of landings in the Pacific theater.
Early on in his political career in Congress Lindsay caused a stir by opposing legislation to combat communism and pornography, but defeated William F. Buckley and others for the Mayor’s office in ’65. He maneuvered gracefully through some of the city’s worst crises, including the transport workers, teachers and sanitation strikes, earning a Life magazine cover in May of 1968 on “The Lindsay Style” with the tagline “Cool Mayor in a Pressure Cooker”. Here we give you some outtakes of the photos. Lindsay almost snagged the Democratic presidential nomination in ’72 as well, nearly saving us from Nixon. Imagine having had James Bond in the White House instead of Tricky Dick….
Jared Paul Stern is the editor of DRIVEN.