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Richard Lee <a href="audio/lee.mp3">Listen to the interview with Richard Lee</a>

“Our goal is a slumless city — the first in the nation....”

Richard Lee

Richard Lee was born in New Haven in 1916. He graduated from Hillhouse High School, and went to work for the Yale University News Service, while serving as an alderman for Newhallville. After two unsuccessful attempts, he won election as mayor in 1953. Though Lee’s programs and policies were controversial, few question his political skill. Lee used masterful political tact to achieve an extraordinary amount of change during his eight terms of service to the city. In this archival recording, Lee describes his vision of urban renewal.

Lee with model photo
Mayor Lee presents a model of the city, August 1966. Courtesy Yale MSSA.
Lee campaign office photo
Mayor Lee, with family and advisers, at election headquarters in the 16th ward. Lee was elected to his sixth term on November 4, 1963. Courtesy Yale MSSA.