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.