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Steingut

STEINGUT

STEINGUT , family of U.S. politicians who were leaders of the Brooklyn (New York) Democratic Party. irwin (1893–1952), born in New York, combined his law career and real estate and insurance business with diligent work for the Brooklyn Democratic Party, led by John H. McCooey, whom Steingut succeeded in 1934. Entering the state assembly in 1922, he became minority leader in 1930 and speaker in 1935. He was a sponsor of the Unemployment Act of 1935 and the State Social Security Bill (enacted in 1937). Both governors F.D. *Roosevelt and H.H. *Lehman found Steingut valuable in putting through reform legislation they sponsored, including greater state aid for municipalities, rent control measures and more state aid for education, and the establishment of a state university with a medical college. He was also true to his party in opposing many of the *La Guardia reforms of New York City's government. Steingut served as director of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities and as a trustee of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. After his death, his son stanley (1920–1990) assumed the legislative position and political power of his father in Brooklyn politics, where he maintained the conservative structure and policies of the traditional Democratic machine (from 1953). In 1969 he was made minority leader of the state assembly. At that time he retired from the Democratic leadership of Brooklyn. Subsequently he instituted a statewide campaign against the legislature's cuts in support of education, health, and welfare, favoring tax reforms (specifically, the closing of loopholes) to supply the necessary funds. He served as speaker of the New York State Assembly from 1975 to 1978.

bibliography:

irwin steingut: New York Times (Sept. 27, 1952) 1:5; A. Nevins, Herbert H. Lehman and His Era (1963), passim; W. Moscow, Politics in the Empire State (1948), passim. stanley steingut: New York Red Book, 78 (1969–70), 145.

[Judith S. Stein]

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