New York City Mayor. At age 20 he moved to Albany to work in his brother Cyrus' distillery, becoming a partner three years later. He left the distillery after his brother's death and started a produce business, which he relocated to New York City in 1866. His venture proved successful during the Civil War, making Edson wealthy and enabling him to engage in religious and charitable causes. In 1873 he became one of the city's most important civic leaders when he was appointed President of the New York Produce Exchange. An anti-Tammany Democrat, in 1882 he was nominated for Mayor through the efforts of Tammany Hall boss John Murphy to avoid a split between organization loyalists and reformers. Upon taking office in 1883, he angered reformers by appointing Tammany men to key jobs, but he soon embraced civil service reform and other honest government measures. During his term the Brooklyn Bridge was dedicated, the Manhattan Municipal Building was constructed, and work was completed on the city's new water supply, the Croton Aqueduct. After Edson split with Tammany the 1884 Democratic nomination for Mayor went to organization loyalist William R. Grace, and Edson retired from politics at the completion of his term in 1885. He then returned to his business and continued his philanthropic activities. Edson Avenue in the Bronx is named for him.
Bio by: Bill McKern