Frank Hogan
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Frank Hogan
Frank Hogan
District Attorney of New York County

Thomas E. Dewey
Richard H. Kuh
ConstituencyNew York County, New York
Personal details
Frank Smithwick Hogan

( 1902 -01-17)January 17, 1902
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedApril 2, 1974(1974-04-02) (aged 72)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Party
Alma materColumbia College, Columbia University
Columbia Law School

Frank Smithwick Hogan (January 17, 1902 - April 2, 1974) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was New York County District Attorney for more than 30 years, during which he achieved a reputation for professionalism and integrity.[1]

Early life and education

Hogan was born in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut. He studied and graduated at Columbia College, Columbia University in 1924. At first, Hogan planned on becoming a reporter and studied journalism. He decided to switch his focus to the law and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1928.[2] Hogan was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at Columbia.[3]


After law school, he entered into private practice for several years. In 1935, he started in the New York County District Attorney's office as an Administrative Assistant District Attorney under Thomas E. Dewey. In 1941, Dewey announced that he would not seek re-election and suggested four prosecutors whom he believed should succeed him. Although Dewey's list included Hogan's name, his selection surprised Dewey. First Hogan, unlike Dewey, was a registered Democrat and his list was meant for the Republicans. In addition, Dewey did not expect the support of Tammany Hall for his preferred candidate after he prosecuted some of their leaders. Not only did Tammany offer its support, but the Republicans and the American Labor Party endorsed him, which guaranteed his election. [2]

During his time in the New York County District Attorney's Office, Hogan conducted many widely publicized investigations. Corruption and racketeering were high on his list. He prosecuted the high-profile crime figures, Joseph Lanza, Joe Adonis and Frank Erickson as well as corrupt politicians such as Manhattan borough president Hulan Jack and former deputy city controller Eugene Sugarman.[1]

In the late 1950s, his office was involved with investigating the rigging of television quiz programs, as well as the regulation of 'fixed' college basketball games. He prosecuted the well known Lenny Bruce obscenity case. Another high-profile case involved the exoneration of George Whitmore, Jr. in 1963 after his confession regarding the murder of two women in their upper east side Manhattan apartment was found to be false.

In 1949, he considered a run for Mayor of New York when William O'Dwyer announced that he would not seek re-election. Hogan ended the campaign after O'Dwyer changed his mind to run again.[1] He decided to run for the United States Senate in 1958 for the seat that Irving Ives was vacating. While Democratic leaders Averell Harriman and mayor Robert F. Wagner preferred a candidate with a larger statewide profile, Carmine DeSapio, the head of Tammany Hall pushed Hogan's candidacy. The move backfired on DeSapio with Kenneth B. Keating defeating Hogan and Nelson Rockefeller becoming Governor of New York.

In his later years, some of his assistants criticized his style as being too rigid and old-fashioned and that he may have been in office too long. They cited his prosecution of comedian Lenny Bruce in 1964 and anti-war protestors at Columbia University in 1968. In 1971, Governor Nelson Rockefeller appointed Maurice Nadjari over Hogan and the other New York City district attorneys to lead the investigations under the Knapp Commission, which mayor John Lindsay established to investigate police corruption. Chairman Whitman Knapp said that Hogan did not properly investigate corruption in the New York City Police Department leading to Nadjari's appointment. The move left Hogan feeling humiliated and left his friendship with Whitman, one of his former assistants damaged.[1][4]

The Knapp fallout and a primary challenge from William vanden Heuvel led to speculation that he would not seek a ninth term in office. However, he surprised observers by running in the 1973 election. Vanden Heuvel's campaign message was that the city needed someone new in the district attorney's office. Several days before the election, the New York City Bar Association gave vanden Heuvel an "unqualified" rating, which may have affected his support. In the end, Hogan won with a two-to-one edge in votes.[1]

Personal life

Hogan served on the Board of Trustees of Columbia University from 1959 until his death in 1974.[5]

He was married to the former Mary Egan.

He had surgery for a lung tumor in 1973 and later suffered a stroke on August 10, 1973. Citing ill health, he resigned on December 26 and entered the hospital the following day. Governor Malcolm Wilson appointed Richard Kuh to replace him. He died of cancer at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan on April 2, 1974.[1]


The street address of the main office of the New York County District Attorney is One Hogan Place in his honor. Hogan Hall, a dormitory at Columbia University, is also named for him.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hogan, District Attorney 32 Years, Dies". The New York Times. April 3, 1974. Retrieved . Frank S. Hogan, the shy, courteous lawyer who became a legend in 32 years as Manhattan's District Attorney, died yesterday at St. Luke's Hospital. Mr. Hogan was 72 years old and lived at 404 Riverside Drive.
  2. ^ a b "Hogan Candidacy a Political 'Bomb'; New District Attorney Was Little Known in City Until Tammany Backed Him". The New York Times. 1941-11-05.
  3. ^ Collins, Glenn (10 April 1981). "Columbia fraternities revive a rite of Spring". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Hogan 'Still Bitter' Over Nadjari Post". The New York Times. 1972-10-12. p. 1.
  5. ^ McDaniel, Shawn (1 November 1977). "Crowd crams Ferris Booth for Hogan Hall dedication". Columbia Daily Spectator. CII (34). Retrieved 2016.

Further reading

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas E. Dewey
New York County District Attorney
Succeeded by
Richard Kuh
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Cashmore
Democratic Nominee for the
U.S. Senate from New York (Class 1)

Succeeded by
Robert F. Kennedy

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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