Born to mother Irene Cohen and an Italian father, LaGuardia spent his life using both sides of his background for political gain.
LaGuardia was a member of Congress (1922-1933) before starting his run of three-terms as mayor of what was by far the USA's most important city, New York. From this powerful position, he got involved in national and even international politics. He led the politicized investigation into the German-American Bund which resulted in the jailing of its founder, Fritz Kuhn. He was laos one of the war-hawks who advocated the USA entering the war in Europe.
He worked closely with fellow New-Yorker the "Red Rabbi" Stephen S. Wise.