American Football Database
Harry Arista Mackey
Mayor of Philadelphia
In office
Preceded by W. Freeland Kendrick
Succeeded by J. Hampton Moore
Personal details
Born (1869-06-26)June 26, 1869
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
Died October 17, 1938(1938-10-17) (aged 69)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Lafayette College

Harry Arista Mackey (June 26, 1869 – October 17, 1938) was an American football player and coach, lawyer, and politician. He served as the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1928 to 1932.[1]

Early life and career

Born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and a native of Bangor, Pennsylvania, Mackey was educated at the Scranton High School, Keystone Academy, Lafayette College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He played football and baseball at Lafayette, where he captained both squads during the 1889–90 academic year. At Penn, he played football from 1891 to 1893, serving as team captain in 1893.[2]

Mackey was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia in 1894.[3] He served as the head football coach at Pennsylvania Military College, now Widener University, in 1894 compiling a 3-2 record, and at the University of Virginia in 1895, where his team went 9-2. His career win-loss record was 12–4.[4][5]

Political career

He clerked for two former judges after law school and entered into private practice in 1902. In 1905, he became the director of the Department of Public Health and Charities in the Weaver administration. He was active in the local Republican Party and won a seat in the lower house of the Philadelphia City Council, the Common Council. Mackey ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against Democrat James Washington Logue and Frederick S. Drake of the Washington Party, but finished third.[6][7] Later, he served as the director of the Department of Public Works and chairman of the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Board. In 1925, he won election as the City Treasurer of Philadelphia.[8]

Mackey was close to Republican Party boss William Scott Vare and was his campaign manager in his 1926 campaign for the Senate.[9] Vare defeated incumbent Senator George W. Pepper and Gifford Pinchot in the Republican primary and William Bauchop Wilson in the general election but was not seated by the Senate after a three-year inquiry into campaign spending and vote fraud.[10]

In 1927, Mackey ran in the 1927 Philadelphia mayoral election as the candidate of William Vare. His main opponent was J. Hampton Moore, a former mayor who ran under the banner of the Citizens Party. Mackey campaigned against the Kendrick administration charging corruption in the police force to the tune of hundreds of thousands monthly in illicit payoffs.[11] On Election Day, Mackey defeated Moore by a large margin.[12]

Over time, his position on prohibition changed during his term. His chief supporter, Vare, was “wet”; however, afterhis election, Mackey declared himself as a “dry” who was in favor of prohibition. Part of his initial program would include going after payoffs from saloon keepers and speakeasies.[11] In 1930, delivered a speech that denounced prohibition, which local observers attributed to the mayor throwing hit hat into the 1930 election for governor as a “wet” candidate.[13]

By 1929, Mackey was supporting a rival electoral slate to Vare, which led to conflict between the factions.[14] Meanwhile, Vare's counsel Made references to having information about Mackey that could result in indictment or impeachment.

After he left office at the end of 1931, Mackey entered the race for the United States House of Representatives, but was unsuccessful.

Personal life

He was married to Ida (Boner) Mackey and had one daughter, Lorna.[8]

Mackey died in 1938 in Philadelphia from pneumonia. He had been bedridden for two months after an automobile accident.[1][8]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Pennsylvania Military Cadets (Independent) (1894)
1894 Pennsylvania Military 3–2
Pennsylvania Military: 3–2
Virginia Cavaliers (Independent) (1895)
1895 Virginia 9–2
Virginia: 9–2
Total: 12–4
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Milestones, Oct. 31, 1938". Time Magazine. October 31, 1938.,9171,883116,00.html.
  2. "MACKEY THEIR NEW CAPTAIN.". The New York Times. December 6, 1892. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  3. University of Pennsylvania: its history, influence, equipment and characteristics; with biographical sketches and portraits of founders, benefactors, officers and alumni, Volume 2. 1902.
  4. "Rowan University Football Media Guide". Rowan University. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  5. "Virginia Football: All-Time Coaching Records". University of Virginia. 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  6. "J.W. Logue Dies Following Stroke". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1925-08-28.
  7. "1912 Elections". Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "EX-MAYOR MACKEY OF PHILADELPHIA; City's Executive, 1928–31, Also Lawyer, Dies—III Since Auto Accident in August WAS REPUBLICAN LEADER Split With Vare Machine in '28 After Long Association—Aided Pinchot to 1930 Victory Elected Mayor in 1927 Entered Polities Early". The New York Times. October 18, 1938. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  9. "Vare is Defended by His Manager; Wet Uprising, Not Slush Fund, Won Keystone Senatorship, Mackey Declares". New York Times. 1927-03-27.
  10. "SENATE BARS VARE BY VOTE OF 58 TO 22; REJECTS WILSON TOO". New York Times. 1929-12-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Ward Bosses Upset in Philadelphia; Mayor-Mackey's Announcement of a Crusade Against Graft Spreads Alarm". New York Times. 1928-04-15.
  12. "Vare Ticket Wins in Philadelphia; Mackey Leads Moore by 154,582, With Nearly All of the Returns Counted". New York Times. 1927-11-09.
  13. "SEE MACKEY AS CANDIDATE; Philadelphia Mayor's Wet Speech Taken as Gubernatorial Bid". New York Times. 1930-07-06.
  14. "VARE FORCES FACE HOT PRIMARY FIGHT". New York Times. 1929-08-18.

External links

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