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Anthony J. Celebrezze Sr.

(09.04.10 – 10.29.98)

American Democratic politician who served as 49th mayor of Cleveland, OH and cabinet member with Kennedy & Johnson and U.S. appeals court judge.

CLICK HERE for PDF of The Plain Dealer 02.26.95 Article on his 45 years of service.
(Please note this is a 19MB file size and will take a while to download)

CLICK HERE for the Letter Accepting Resignation of Anthony J. Celebrezze as Secretary of Health by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

CLICK HERE for the Anthony J. Celebrezze oral history transcript

CLICK HERE for letter from President John F. Kennedy, April 1, 1963

CLICK HERE for the Ohio Northern University - Alumni Feature: The Honorable Anthony J. Celebrezze, Sr.

CLICK HERE for the LIFE magazine image archive of Anthony J. Celebrezze and John F. Kennedy

CLICK HERE for the Anthony J. Celebreeze article in the 'This Is The Times: Cleveland Centennial' blog.

CLICK HERE for "My Days with JFK - Mayor Goes Fishing, Catches Cabinet Job" - The Cleveland Press - November 18, 1968

CLICK HERE for "My Days with JFK - John-John Eased Cuban Crisis Head" - The Cleveland Press - November 19, 1968

CLICK HERE for "My Days with JFK - The Kennedy Sense of Humor Is Remembered by Celebrezze" - The Cleveland Press - November 21, 1968

CLICK HERE for "My Days with JFK - Celebrezze Recalls Numbness, Tears After the Assassination" - The Cleveland Press - November 22, 1968

CLICK HERE for "Celebrezze Joins Newspaper 'Hall'" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLICK HERE for "Celebrezze Is Honored, Restates Faith in Fellow Man"

CLICK HERE for The Writ - "Judge Anthony J. Celebrezze: A Dedicated Public Servant" - Ohio Northern university College of Law - Spring 2004

CLICK HERE for Ohio Northern University - Law Review - Tributes to the Honorable Anthony J. Celebreeze - Volume XIX Number 4

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Plain Dealer - Full Honors for Celebrezze - James F. McCarty

CLICK HERE - Correspondence between Anthony J. Celebrezze and President John F. Kennedy donated by Richard Marco Sr.

CLICK HERE - Correspondence between Anthony J. Celebrezze and Robert F. Kennedy donated by Richard Marco Sr.

CLICK HERE - Correspondence between Anthony J. Celebrezze and President Lyndon B. Johnson donated by Richard Marco Sr.

CLICK HERE - Excerpts from Remarks of Anthony J. Celebrezze, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit: NEW DIMENSIONS IN PUBLIC LIFE

CLICK HERE for a letter from Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to Anthony J. Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for a letter from President Harry S. Truman to Anthony J. Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for a letter from Danny Thomas to Anthony J. Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for Anthony J Celebrezze Obituary Editorial - The Plain Dealer - November 2, 1998

CLICK HERE for Celebrezze Easy Winner - November 4, 1953

CLICK HERE for Cleveland.com - Whatever happened to the $121 million makeover of Cleveland's Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building?

CLICK HERE for Anthony Celebrezze with Brothers August, Vincent and Joseph

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze Endowment Fund, Ohio Northern University

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze Fire Boat

CLICK HERE for Celebrezze Family History Prepared by Joseph A. Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Press Headline on Celebrezze Cabinet Appointment

CLICK HERE for Cleveland's Tony

CLICK HERE for Congratulations Mr. Celebrezze!

CLICK HERE for Eliis Island Medal of Honor, 5-19-1996

CLICK HERE for First Lady of Cleveland, Anne Celebrezze and Family

CLICK HERE for Letter from the Ohio Northern Alumnus, January 1963

CLICK HERE for Mayor Celebrezze to Ralph Locher

CLICK HERE for National Conference Christians & Jews Honor Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for Personal Note To John Celebrezze 1

CLICK HERE for Personal Note To John Celebrezze 2

CLICK HERE for President Kennedy, Tom Vail with HEW Secretary Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for President Kennedy with Mayor Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for President Kennedy's Remarks 7-31-1962

CLICK HERE for Mayor Celebrezze, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection

CLICK HERE for Mayor Anthony Celebrezze at the Cleveland Press ground breaking, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection

CLICK HERE for Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze at Euclid Beach Park, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection

CLICK HERE for Mayor Celebrezze Greets John F. Kennedy, February 18, 1958, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection

CLICK HERE for Letter to unlce Sal and Aunt Pearl - December 24, 1982

CLICK HERE for What Honor Is All About, from LaGazzetta Italiana, July 1995

CLICK HERE for Views of Mayor Celebrezze's Birthplace in Italy', Plain Dealer, circa 1954

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze 's Ohio Senate Seat from Father to Son, The Plain Dealer, circa 1975

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze 's 1954 Annual Report to the People of the City of Cleveland

CLICK HERE for "The Great Harvard Club Raid" a story involving Mayor Celebrezze's brother Frank, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 4, 2001

CLICK HERE for actual phone conversations between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Anthony J. Celebrezze during the latter's tenure as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. The pertinent dates to search for are March 9, 1964, March 25, 1964, May 27, 1964, and Nov. 3, 1964.

CLICK HERE for a Newsweek story on President John F. Kennedy's years in the White House following the president's assassination from the December 3, 1963 issue.

CLICK HERE for another story on the Kennedy administration, also from the December 3, 1963 issue of Newsweek.

CLICK HERE for a biography of Anthony J. Celebrezze from the University of Virginia's Miller Center.

CLICK HERE for a story on Anthony J. Celebrezze joining the Kennedy Administration as Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, from JFK + 50.

CLICK HERE for information on the Cleveland Fire Department's fireboat Anthony J. Celebrezze, from the Cleveland Fire Fighters IAFF Local 93 site.

CLICK HERE for the New York Times obituary of Anthony J. Celebrezze.

CLICK HERE for information on the 2013 Final Round of the Anthony J. Celebrezze Appellate Advocacy Competition

CLICK HEREfor the Wikipedia article on the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building.

CLICK HERE for the Encylopedia of Cleveland History's article on the Mayoral Administration of Anthony J. Celebrezze.

CLICK HERE for the Ohio Northern University Law Review's 1980 article honoring Anthony J. Celebrezze on his retirement from full-time duties on the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, from HeinOnline.

CLICK HERE for a biography of Anthony J. Celebrezze, Sr. on the Ohio History Central website.

CLICK HERE for the Social Security Administration's biography of Anthony J. Celebrezze.

CLICK HERE for "Celebrezze Fully Backs Medical Care", Utica N.Y., Daily Press, August 8, 1962

CLICK HERE for "Celebrezze Is Named U.S. Judge", Niagara Falls Gazette, July 27, 1965

CLICK HERE for a photo of John F. Kennedy with Mayor Celebrezze and Louise Winslow, Feb. 1958
Donated by Judge C. Ellen Connally, Cleveland Municipal Court (retired)

CLICK HERE for a photo of HEW Secretary Anthony J. Celebrezze, Labor Day Picnic at Euclid Beach, Sept. 6, 1964
Donated by Judge C. Ellen Connally, Cleveland Municipal Court, (retired)

CLICK HERE for "Sit In at the Office of Anthony J. Celebrezze", Long Island Star Journal, October 30, 1964

CLICK HERE for "Dixie Mayor Felt Celebrezze Wrath", The Sunday Press, Binghamton, N.Y., July 15, 1962

CLICK HERE for "The Celebrezze Dynasty", The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH., 1983

CLICK HERE for Celebrezze Family History

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Print Media, Circa 1953

CLICK HERE for Celebrezze Hollow, Holmes County Ohio - Donated by the Sheely Family

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze Appellate Advocacy Competition, April 16, 2014, Courtney Staton Winner

CLICK HERE for Anthony J. Celebrezze, Ohio Northern University , LL.B Degree 1936 - Photo donated by Salvatore J. Celebrezze

CLICK HERE for Judge Frank D, Celebrezze, Circa 1951, Cleveland Print Media

CLICK HERE for August F. Celebrezze, Circa 1962, Cleveland Print Media

CLICK HERE for Judges Anthony J. Celebrezze, Gerald Celebrezze, Frank D. Celebrezze Jr. and Ohio State Representative James P. Celebrezze, Circa 1969, Cleveland Press

Thirty Years after his law school graduation Anthony J. Celebrezze received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, May 1996 - Photos part of John Celebrezze's personal collection.

Salvatore J. Celebrezze , brother of Anthony J. Celebrezze with his son, Vincent R. Celebrezze, at the dedication of the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, July 20, 1973

CLICK HERE for the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) biography of Anthony J. Celebrezze.

CLICK HERE for Congratulations to Jackie Dobbert, Winner of the Ohio Northern University, Anthony J. Celebrezze Appellate Advocacy Competition, April 4, 2012

CLICK HERE for Congratulations to Samantha Rutter, Winner of the Ohio Northern University, Anthony J. Celebrezze Appellate Advocacy Competition, April 8, 2016


CLICK HERE for My Fifth Term as the Mayor's Wife, pg 2, pg 3, pg 4, pg 5

CLICK HERE for Remembering Anne M. Celebrezze

Marriage of Anne Marco to Anthony J. Celebrezze, circa 1938


Anthony J. Celebrezze's life was dedicated to serving the public. He entered politics in 1950, serving in the Ohio General Assembly, and continued his efforts on behalf of others for the next forty-eight years. By the end of his life, he had served in the highest levels of both state and federal governments and had helped transform American law and society.

In 1950, Celebrezze ran for a seat on the Ohio State Senate and won. He served as an Ohio state senator from 1951 to 1953. Celebrezze was elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio in 1953 and served the city until 1962. From 1962 to 1965, Celebrezze served in the cabinets of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, as the U.S. Secretary for Health, Education, and Welfare.

In 1965, President Johnson appointed Celebrezze to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He served as a federal appeals court judge until his death in 1998. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park, Ohio.

The U.S. government's building in Cleveland is named after Celebrezze, as well as an archives room at Ohio Northern University's law school (Ada, Ohio).

Celebrezze was the father of state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., and the uncle of Ohio Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze, and Ohio Supreme Court Judge James Celebrezze, the great uncle of Ohio Appeals Court Judge Frank D. Celebrezze Jr., the grandfather of Anthony J. Celebrezze III and the brother of Frank D. Celebrezze I, a Cleveland Municipal Court judge.

 

 


Obituary from the New York Times, October 31, 1998

By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr
Published: October 31, 1998

Anthony J. Celebrezze, a storied Cleveland mayor who transformed the city's skyline in the 1950's and went on to spend three productive years as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the 1960's and three low-key decades as a Federal appellate judge, died on Thursday at a hospice in Cleveland. He was 88 and a founder of a far-flung Ohio political dynasty.

Judge Celebrezze's family said the cause was cancer.

For all the pride he took in the accomplishments of his nine activist years as Mayor of Cleveland, Judge Celebrezze later admitted that his most sweeping achievements came during his brief service in the Kennedy and Johnson Cabinets.

He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy in July 1962, the first Italian-American to serve in a Presidential Cabinet. He remained in the Cabinet until August 1965, when he submitted his resignation to President Lyndon B. Johnson. In that time, Mr. Celebrezze helped shepherd more than a dozen major New Frontier and Great Society bills through Congress, including the Medicare Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Water Pollution Control Act, the Clean Air Act and the law creating the Head Start program.

 

Photo Gallery

The most successful Italian-American politician in Cleveland was Anthony J. Celebrezze. Born in Anzi, Italy, on September 4, 1910, he was brought to this country at the age of two. Educated in the Cleveland Public Schools and at John Carroll University, he received his law degree in 1936. His political career began in 1950 when he won election to the Ohio Senate. As a member of several important committees he was twice voted as one of the state's top senators.


 

In 1950, Celebrezze ran for a seat on the Ohio State Senate and won. He served as an Ohio state senator from 1951 to 1953.

 


 

Campaigning as a independent candidate for Cleveland mayor, who could not be bought, Celebrezze swept into office in 1953. He bucked the party machines to win an unprecedented five two-year terms as Mayor of Cleveland (1953-1962).

 


 

In 1962 when President John F. Kennedy offered him a position in his cabinet as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, now known as Health and Human Services, he accepted. He later served in President Lyndon B. Johnson's cabinet in that same capacity.

 


 

Anthony J. Celebrezze’s inauguration as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare with President John F. Kennedy in July of 1962.

 


 

John F. Kennedy cabinet meeting, White House Cabinet Room.

Clockwise:
Bernard L. Boutin (NASA Administrator), Edward Day (Postmaster General), Ted Dsorenson, Robert S. Mcnamara (Secretary of Defense), Donald F. Hornig (Director, Office of Science and Technology), William Wirtz (Secratary of Labor), Anthony J. Celebrezze (Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare), Luther H. Hodges (Secretary of Commerce), Seaborg, (Unidentified Individual), Kennedy, Douglas Dillon (Secretary of the Treasury), John Carver (Undersecretary of the Interior), David Bell (Director, Bureau of the Budget). Behind Dillon is Najeeb Halaby (Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration), Robert F. Kennedy (Attorney General). Washington , D.C. October 18, 1962.

 


 

With President Kennedy in Miami Beach in 1963.

Left to Right:
HEW Secretary Anthony Celebrezze, President Kennedy,
Commissioner of Education in HEW Francis Keppel and Wilbur Cohen

 


 

The Reports of the Surgeon General
U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Anthony Celebrezze's Visit to National Institutes of Health.

Left to Right:
Luther Terry, Anthony Celebrezze, G. Burroughs Mider, and James Shannon

 


Celebrezze took the oath of office as Judge of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals on September 1, 1965. By Act of Congress, the federal building in Cleveland is named the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building.


 

Ten of LBJ's Cabinet member sign a FDC honoring the deceased U.S. President.FDC signed: "Joseph W. Barr", "Clark M. Clifford", "Nicholas deB. Katzenbach", "Ramsey Clark", "Anthony J. Celebrezze", "Henry H. Fowler", "Lawrence F. O'Brien", "Robert C. Weaver", "Robert C. Wood" and "John W. Gardner", 6½x2½. FDC honoring the memory of President Johnson, 8-cent stamp affixed, postmarked Austin, Texas, August 27, 1973.

 


 

During his many years of serving the public, Judge Celebrezze garnered many honors and awards. Among them were honorary degrees from Fenn College, Boston College, LaSalle College, Ohio Northern University, Rhode Island College, Bowling Green State University, Wilberforce University, Miami University (Ohio) and Cleveland State University.

 


 

The Firetug Anthony J. Celebreeze Wednesday morning with engines running by the Collision Bend firehouse. 12.18.07

 


 

Uncle Tony!







 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 



HEW Secretary Anthony J. Celebrezze Stumps for LBJ, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection


Mayor Celebrezze Meets"Davy Crockett", Images from the Cleveland Press Collection


Cleveland Safety Director Frank Celebrezze, Images from the Cleveland Press Collection


Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze with his brothers August (far left), Joseph, Salvatore, and sisters Margaret and Millie, photo donated by John M. Celebrezze. Circa 1954

 


 

Law Notes, Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association News

 


 

The Plain Dealer, July 15, 1962


 

Agostino (left) and Rocco Cilibrizzi (Celebrezze) (right) Uncle and Father of Anthony J. Celebrezze


 

Family Photograph of Anthony J. Celebrezze, Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient , May 19, 1996

 


 

Anthony J. Celebrezze with is brothers. From right: Honorable Judge Frank D., Joseph, Vincent, August, and Salvatore. Photo taken at the wedding of Rocky Demarco, , nephew, circa 1947

 


 

Signed Photo of Anthony J. Celebrezze with President Kennedy, July 1962, Gift from John M. Celebrezze

 


 

The Plain Dealer, July 1962

 


 

The Plain Dealer, July 15, 1962


 

Photograph of Senator John F. Kennedy (right) with Anthony J. Celebrezze (left), Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio and Allen C. Thompson (center), Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi at a meeting of the American Municipal Association held in Denver, Colorado. Stamped on verso: "Photo. By: Ralph H. Hargrove; Identification Bureau, Police Department, Jackson, Mississippi." From the JFK Presidential Library Collection.


 

Agostino (left) and Rocco Cilibrizzi (Celebrezze) (right) Uncle and Father of Anthony J. Celebrezze


 

The Celebrezze family at Mayor Anthony Celebrezze's 1953 inauguration.


 

Former Cleveland Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze (left) and his son, Ohio Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., laugh as Cleveland Council Presidetn George L. Forbes tells an audience yesterday he would change his name to George Forbes-Celebrezze before running for mayor. The Celebrezzes received Cleveland State University's College of Urban Affairs' "Tribue to the Public Service" award.

 


 

Pearl J. Celebrezze, Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr, Louisa G. Celebrezze, Salvatore J. Celebrezze
January 9, 1983
Photo on loan from John Celebrezze

 

Ohio Legislature Resolution on the death of Dorothy Celebrezze, Mother of Senator Anthony J. Celebrezze
May 1, 1951


Taken at Ellis Island, New York on May 19, 1996. Judge Anthony J. Celebrezze seated between his son Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. (right) and his nephew John M. Celebrezze (left)



Celebrezze Brothers: August, Vincent, Frank, Anthony (back row), Joseph , Salvatore, Rocco, circa 1930
Courtesy of John Celebrezze


Cleveland Plain Dealer photo, Anthony J. Celebrezze Family, wife Anne with daughters Jean and Susan at the piano, circa 1960



Cleveland Plain Dealer photo, John Nagy and Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze, circa 1962



Cleveland Plain Dealer photo, Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze with U.S Senator Frank J. Lausche, circa 1960



Cleveland Press photo, Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze and Coroner Samuel R. Gerber Start Race to Promote Green Cross Membership, circa 1960



Cleveland Press photo, Children ride with Cleveland Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze at Brookside Park, circa 1955



Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Circa 1963, Cleveland Print Media



Taken 11-4-1953, Cleveland Mayor-Elect Anthony J. Celebrezze got a kiss from his wife, Anne, as his victory became a certainty. Source, The Plain Dealer Library 7-26-1962.



Taken 5-13-1942, Cleveland Safety Director Frank D. Celebrezze flanked by his parents Dorothy and Rocco Celebrezze at a dinner honoring their son. This photo on loan from John M. Celebrezze was acquired from the Cleveland Press archives.



Rocco Celebrezze, father of Anthony J. Celebrezze
This photo taken by Wm G. Vorpe II, Cleveland News staff reporter on November 10, 1953 at the time of his son's initial election as Mayor of Cleveland. When asked by the media if he was proud of his son, Anthony, the new mayor, he replied, "I am proud of all of my children."
Rocco Celebrezze died on November 16, 1954.
Photo is property of John M. Celebrezze



Anthony J. Celebrezze in the Oval Office with President John F. Kennedy, July 17, 1962.



Judge Anthony J. Celebrezze of the U.S. Court of Appeals (6th Circuit) and Mrs. Celebrezze view a portrait of the judge as he looked when he was mayor. The painting was unveiled yesterday at City Hall. The painting. commissioned by Mayor Ralph J. Perk, will be part of the hall's gallery of mayors. With the Celebrezzes are their grandchildren, Catherine and Charles.



Photo of Frank D. Celebrezze, Safety Director of Cleveland taken April 21, 1945.
(Cleveland Press Reference Dept.)



Anthony J. Celebrezze , chairman of a Presidential Council on aging, reports to President Kennedy on the Council's year-long study indicating health care issues facing Americans 65 years and older.
(United Press International photo taken on May 18, 1963 donated by John Celebrezze)



Eunice Kennedy Shriver watches as Susan Celebrezze helps a handicapped child at Camp Shriver on the Shriver estate in Maryland, July 14, 1964.



Anthony J. Celebrezze, Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, takes his oath from Carson Howell, White House Administrative Officer on July 31, 1962 in the Rose Garden with President John F. Kennedy.
(United Press International)



Video Gallery

1960's newsreel of Anthony J. Celebrezze being selected as a member of President Kennedy's cabinet.

 

A home video featuring memories of a campaign worker on one of Anthony J. Celebrezze's mayoral campaigns.

 


 


Frank D. Celebrezze 1899-1953

 

Frank D. Celebrezze I was born Cleveland, Ohio on May 12, 1899, and died in 1953. He married Mary Carmella Delsander had six children: Frank Jr., Gerald, Dorothy, Joanne, Monica and James. He served as an American judge, the brother of Johnson cabinet member and federal appeals court Judge Anthony Celebrezze. A graduate of St. Ignatius College (now divided into Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland and John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio). He earned a Juris Doctor from University of Notre Dame in 1928. In the 1930s, Celebrezze served as a Cleveland municipal judge. Then, Celebrezze served as an assistant prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio prosecutor's office. Later, he was director of safety under Cleveland mayors Frank J. Lausche and Thomas A. Burke. Afterwards, he was elected as Cleveland municipal judge until his death in 1953.

His other relatives include nephew gubernatorial candidate Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr., son Ohio Chief Justice Frank Celebrezze, son Ohio Supreme Court Judge James Celebrezze; grandson Ohio appeals court Judge Frank D. Celebrezze Jr.; and grandnephew Anthony J. Celebrezze III.