John Francis Fitzgerald, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in Boston on 11th February, 1863. After graduating from the Boston Latin School he attended Harvard Medical School for a year but had to leave to take care of his six brothers when his father died.
Fitzgerald obtained a position at the Boston Custom House (1886-1891). He was also active in the Democratic Party and in 1892 became a member of the Massachusetts Senate. Three years later he was elected to Congress (4th March, 1895 to 3rd March, 1901).
In 1906 Fitzgerald became the mayor of Boston. In doing so, Fitzgerald became the first mayor in the United States whose parents had been born in Ireland. He now joined forces with his former rival, Patrick Joseph Kennedy, to run the city. Fitzgerald's daughter, Rose Fitzgerald, was later to marry Kennedy's son, Joseph Patrick Kennedy: the parents of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.
Fitzgerald had two spells as mayor (1906-08 and 1910-14) and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1922. Fitzgerald, an investment banker, also served as a member of the Port of Boston Authority (1934-1948). John Francis Fitzgerald died in Boston on 2nd October, 1950.