Alfred B. DelBello | Critical Book Review

A Critical Examination of DelBello’s Legacy

In John A. Lipman’s biography, “Alfred B. DelBello: His Life and Times,” readers are presented with a portrait of a public servant whose impact on 20th-century New York is undeniably significant. While the narrative exudes a sympathetic tone and highlights DelBello’s political achievements, it leaves much to be desired in terms of personal insight.

A Legacy in the Making

Born in Yonkers and subsequently elected as the city’s mayor in 1969, Alfred B. DelBello’s political journey saw him ascend to the position of Westchester County Executive and serve as New York’s lieutenant governor until 1985. DelBello’s centrist Democratic approach and willingness to collaborate across party lines earned him recognition, and his list of accomplishments is extensive.

Actions Speak Louder

Throughout his tenure, DelBello’s approach to governance was marked by his establishment of various initiatives aimed at improving the lives of his constituents. He formed a Plant Closing Task Force to address industrial closings, implemented job training programs with a focus on mental health and addiction, and stood against the demolition of a historic mansion on a farm. He grappled with the challenge of managing Westchester County’s massive trash output, opting for responsible disposal methods.

DelBello tackled sensitive issues, including teen suicide and the need for a burn unit in a new hospital. When a gasoline shortage hit Westchester County in 1974 due to an international oil embargo, he implemented rationing measures, ultimately quelling panic among consumers and gas station owners alike. In a bold move, he created the Westchester transportation department, streamlining bus services and instituting uniform branding.

A Commitment to the Community

DelBello’s commitment extended to addressing consumer affairs and women’s needs, leading to the creation of the Westchester County Office for Women. He even initiated the popular car-free Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway. Despite facing political hurdles, such as Governor Mario Cuomo’s initial reluctance to run alongside another Italian-American on the ticket, DelBello persevered and succeeded.

The Essence of DelBello

In Lipman’s account, Alfred B. DelBello is portrayed as a visionary leader motivated by innovative ideas and an unwavering commitment to making the impossible possible. His genuine concern for the well-being of his constituents shines through, showcasing his dedication to public service.

A Timely Reminder

In today’s polarized political landscape, “Alfred B. DelBello: His Life and Times” by John A. Lipman serves as a poignant reminder of the potential for bipartisan achievements. DelBello’s legacy stands as a testament to what politicians can accomplish when they prioritize the greater good.

A Limited Glimpse

While the biography offers a clear and well-organized account of DelBello’s political endeavors, it falls short in providing substantial personal insights. Aside from a fleeting anecdote about chasing after his family dog, DelBello’s private life remains largely undisclosed—a deliberate choice by the man himself.

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressNonfiction / Biography / Political268 pages978-1639884803

A Critical Examination of DelBello’s Legacy In John A. Lipman’s biography, “Alfred B. DelBello: His Life and Times,” readers are presented with a portrait of a public servant whose impact on 20th-century New York is undeniably significant. While the narrative exudes a sympathetic tone and highlights DelBello’s political achievements, it leaves much to be desired…