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William Emmett Dever

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William Emmett Dever
42nd Mayor of Chicago
In office
Preceded by William Hale Thompson
Succeeded by William Hale Thompson
Personal details
Born March 13, 1862(1862-03-13)
Woburn, Massachusetts
Died September 13, 1929(1929-09-13) (aged 67)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Residence Chicago, Illinois

William Emmett Dever (March 13, 1862 – September 3, 1929) was an American politician who was the Mayor of Chicago from 1923 through 1928. During his term he helped clean and fix the entire city of Chicago.

Early life

Dever was born on March 13, 1862 in Wobrun, Massachusetts. He was raised in Boston, Massachusetts and in Chicago, Illinois.


Dever's term in office saw many improvements to the city, including the completion of Wacker Drive, the extension of Ogden Avenue, the straightening of the Chicago River and the building of the city's first airport, Municipal Airport. He also fought against the corrupting influence of bootlegging and gangsters.[1] Despite considering himself a "wet", he enforced prohibition since it was the law of the land. The media labeled his war on bootleggers as the "Great Beer War" and it resulted in a decline of crime.


Dever died on September 3, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois from cancer, aged 67.