William Dee Becker

 

William Dee Becker

Term: 1941 - 1943
Party: Republican
Born: October 23, 1876
East St. Louis, Illinois
Died: August 1, 1943
St. Louis, Missouri
 
William D. Becker (Mayor 1941-1943)-Background
Mayor (1941-1943). William Dee Becker was born in East St. Louis, Illinois on October 23, 1876. He attended Smith Academy in St. Louis and then went to Harvard where he graduated in 1899. Becker then attended St. Louis Law School, affliated with Washington University, and was admitted to the Bar in 1901. A year later he married Miss Margaret Louise McIntosh. They had two children.

After fifteen years of law practice Becker was elected to the St. Louis Court of Appeals in 1916 for a twelve-year term. In 1928 he was re-elected for another term on the same court.

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William D. Becker (Mayor 1941-1943)-Administration
In 1941 William Dee Becker became the thirty-ninth Mayor of St. Louis.

In 1941 Becker was the Republican candidate for the Mayor's Office. Becker defeated Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann who was running for a third term.

Until this time, when there was a change from one political party to another in the Mayor's Office, most of the City office holders were replaced with those from the new party in power. In August of 1941 the Mayor announced that the political complexion of the City employees was about equally divided between the two parties. He actively supported the merit system amendment to the City Charter. It had been submitted to a vote of the adopted on September 16, 1941, setting up the present Civil Service System for City Government personnel. Mr. Raymond R. Tucker, the first Smoke Commissioner under Mayor Dickmann, was retained in that office by Mayor Becker, and the Smoke Ordinance was enforced. Under the leadership of the Mayor, the St. Louis Civil Defense Council was set up with Colonel Harry D. McBride, Director of Public Safety, as coordinator.

Several recent Mayors had been concerned with the problems created by the separation of the City and County in 1876. At a meeting of the City Plan Commission, Mayor Becker said that the City had outgrown its Official City Limits established by the Charter and Scheme of 1876, and that the future development of the City might include incorporation of St. Louis County within its limits.

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William D. Becker (Mayor 1941-1943)-Post-Administration
Mayor William D. Becker and five other City and County leaders were killed on August 1, 1943, in the crash of a glider at Lambert-St. Louis Field. Much of his program was left incomplete with his untimely death in August of 1943. He stated that he tried to run the City just as a private business should be conducted.

Burial was at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

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