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July 22, 1873: Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast was born. Known for using nefarious methods to get his way, Pendergast ran the town of Kansas City and the surrounding Jackson County area for nearly fifteen years, from 1925 to 1939. Although notorious and cutthroat, he was beloved by many. Pendergast was also responsible for much of former president Harry S. Truman's political ascent.
This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.