Jimmy Walker, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in New York City on 19th June, 1881. After graduating from St. Francis Xavier College and New York University Law School, Walker worked as a songwriter. He only had one success, Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May (1905).
Walker, a member of the Democratic Party, attracted the notice of several Tammany leaders and with their support was in 1914 elected to the New York Senate. A close associate of Alfred Smith, also the son of Irish Roman Catholics, Walker gradually moved up the party hierarchy. By 1921 he became leader of the party in the city and was their successful candidate for mayor in 1926. Walker was a popular figure in the city and was responsible establishing the Department of Sanitation, unified the public hospital system and approved the construction of the subway.
Re-elected in 1929, Walker soon found himself the subject of a corruption investigation led by Samuel Seabury. Unable to explain the large sums of money that had been paid into his bank account, Walker was forced to resign from office in September, 1932. Facing fifteen charges of corruption, Walker fled to Europe and did not return until he was convinced he would not be prosecuted for his financial offences.
In 1940 Fiorello La Guardia, the mayor of New York City, appointed him as arbiter in garment industry disputes. Jimmy Walker was also president of the Majestic Records Company until his death on 18th November, 1946.