Robert Moses was an American public official born December 18, 1888 and died July 29, 1981. Worked mainly in the metropolitan area of New York. Known as the “master builder” of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarized figures in the history of urban development in the United States.
His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite not having trained in those professions. Moses would call himself a “coordinator” and was called a “master builder” in the media.
At one point, Moses held twelve titles simultaneously (including NYC Parks Commissioner and Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission), but was never elected to any public office (he ran only once for New York Governor as a Republican in 1934 and lost to Herbert H. Lehman). Nevertheless, he created and led numerous public authorities which gave him autonomy from the general public and elected officials. Through these authorities, he controlled millions of dollars in income from his projects, such as tolls, and he could issue bonds to borrow vast amounts for new ventures with little or no input from legislative bodies.
This removed him from the purse’s power as it normally functioned in the United States, and from the public comment process on major public works. As a result of Moses ‘ work, New York has the largest proportion of public benefit corporations in the United States, which is New York’s top infrastructure building and maintenance mode and accounts for most of the state’s debt.
Robert Moses Family
Moses was born to assimilated German Jewish parents, Bella and Emanuel Moses in New Haven, Connecticut. He spent the first nine years of his life living at New Haven’s 83 Dwight Street, two blocks from Yale University. The Moses family moved to New York City in 1897, where they lived off Fifth Avenue on East 46th Street. Moses ‘ father was a successful New Haven department store owner and real estate speculator.
Robert Moses Age
Robert Moses Married
Moses has been in marriage two times. He married Mary Sims in 1915 and she later died in 1966 while still together. Lter, she married Mary Alicia Grady in 1966.
Robert Moses Children
Moses has two children, Barbara and Jane.
Robert Moses Beach | Robert Moses State Park | Robert Moses Projects | Robert Moses Beach Field 5
Jones Beach State Park is a New York State State Park. It is a barrier island linked to Long Island by Meadowbrook State Parkway, Wantagh State Parkway, and Ocean Parkway in southern Nassau County, in the hamlet of Wantagh, on Jones Beach Island. Other projects include the Northern State Parkway, the Southern State Parkway and the Wantagh State Parkway.
The Power Broker Robert Moses
The Power Broker: Moses and the Fall of New York is Robert Caro’s 1974 biography of Moses. The book focuses on the creation and use of power in local and state politics, as witnessed by Moses ‘ use of unselected positions to design and implement dozens of highways and bridges, sometimes at great cost to the communities he served nominally. It has been repeatedly named one of the best biographies of the 20th century and has been highly influential on city planners and politicians across the United States. In 1974, the book won a Pulitzer Prize.
Robert Moses Books
- Berman, Marshall, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, New York: Viking Penguin, 1988. ISBN 1844676447
- Ballon, Hilary, Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York (NY: Norton, 2007). ISBN 9780393732436
Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York, New York: Knopf, 1974. hardcover: ISBN 0-394-48076-7, Vintage paperback: ISBN 0-394-72024-5, OCLC 1087489248
- Christin, Pierre, and Olivier Balez. Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City (2014). ISBN 1907704965
- Doig, Jameson W. “Regional Conflict in the New York Metropolis: The Legend of Robert Moses and the Power of the Port Authority,” Urban Studies Volume 27, Number 2 / April 1990 pp. 201–232
- Jackson, Kenneth T. and Hillary Ballon, eds. Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York (W. W. Norton,
- Krieg, Joann P. Robert Moses: Single-Minded Genius, Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1989.
- Lewis, Eugene, Public Entrepreneurship : toward a theory of bureaucratic political power—the organizational lives of Hyman Rickover, J. Edgar Hoover, and Robert Moses, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1980.
- Moses, Robert. Public works: A dangerous trade. McGraw Hill. 1970. Autobiography.
- Rodgers, Cleveland, “Robert Moses: An Atlantic Portrait”, The Atlantic, February 1939
- Rodgers, Cleveland, Moses, Builder for Democracy, New York: Holt, 1952.
- Vidal, Gore. “What Moses Did to New York City” New York Review of Books, October 17, 1974. Also found in “United States: Essays 1952–1992” Gore Vidal, Random House, 1993.