From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
RICHARD CROKER (1843-), American politician, was born at Blackrock, Ireland, on the 24th of November 1843. He was taken to the United States by his parents when two years old, and was educated in the public schools of New York v11.. 16 City, where he eventually became a member of Tammany Hall and active in its politics. He was an alderman from 1868 to 1870, a coroner from 1873 to 1876, a fire commissioner in 1883 and 1887, and city chamberlain from 1889 to 1890. After the fall of John Kelly he became the leader of Tammany Hall (q.v.), and for some time almost completely controlled the organization. His greatest political success was his bringing about the election of Robert A. van Wyck as first mayor of greater New York in 1897, and during van Wyck's administration Croker is popularly supposed to have dominated completely the government of the city. After Croker's failure to "carry" the city in the presidential election of 1900 and the defeat of his mayoralty candidate; Edward M. Shepard, in 1901, he resigned from his position of leadership in Tammany, and retired to a country life in England and Ireland. In 1907 he won the Derby with his race-horse Orby.