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The Boss

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

From the days when he thought of being a pugilist himself has followed prizefighting. It is said that he has not missed heavyweight championship bout in his generation. He was associated with John F. Boyle, of Boyle's Thirty Acres fame, in his operations, but the exact nature of their association has never been revealed. His enthusiasm for boxing is shared by other Jersey City officers; the Mackay Committee re- ported in 1921 `that official cars were used on an alleged road-inspecting tour which terminated at Toledo, Ohio, the day of the Dempsey-Willard fight.' (New York Times, May 8, 1921.)

He is also fond of horse-racing, and during the season in Florida he attends the tracks almost daily. He was chairman of the Horse-Racing Amendment Association of New Jersey, and he led the campaign which resulted in the repeal of the anti-gambling amendment of the New Jersey Constitution. In his speeches in behalf of the repeal he poured scorn upon the kill-joy clergymen who `under the pretense of protecting the morals of the people' opposed `the liberal people, the people who believe in recreation....'

Baseball is the third of his sports enthusiasms. The New York Giants, when they play in New York, can count almost always upon having Mayor Hague as one of their spectators and supporters, for on any summer afternoon when he can get away from his official duties, or when he is not abroad, he will drive from Deal or Jersey City to see them. He follows the Jersey City teams too; he lets nothing prevent his at- tending a Jersey City game. For example, on April 29, 1939, he issued a proclamation: `As Mayor of Jersey City I earnestly and respectfully invite all the people of our city to participate actively in the Americanization Day exercises Sunday, April 30, 2 P.M., at Pershing Field.... Show your Americanism by parading or being present Sunday afternoon.' But the Jersey City and Toronto teams of the International League were playing a double-header at the Roosevelt Stadium at the time of the exercises; so Mayor Hague and his nephew and secretary, Frank Hague Eggers, occupied a box at the ball game. (New York Times, April 30, 1939.)


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