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Indianapolis Political and Community Leaders

The culture, community and society of Indianapolis does not end at its borders, but rather, flows naturally outward into the other nearby cities in Indiana. Political and community leaders from Indianapolis, therefore, have an important influence on Hoosiers throughout the state.

Below is a representative list of Indianapolis’ important community leaders and political figures.

Political and Community Leaders

Greg Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis, overturned his Democratic opponent Bart Peterson in 2008, in a campaign still referred to as “the biggest upset in the political history of Indiana.”
A Hoosier to the core, Robert Behning represents District 91 in the Indiana State Legislature.
Republican Mitch Daniels currently holds the office of 49th Governor of Indiana. Known for persistence in governmental reform, he enjoys approval ratings close to 70 percent.
William Eastin English – Son of the powerful William Hayden English familiy, William Eastin was an important philanthropist and politician in Indianapolis during the 1800s.
William Hayden English – Scion of one of the wealthiest Indianapolis families during the 1800s, William H. was an active politician, banker, lawyer and businessman.
Charles W. Fairbanks, long-time Indianapolis resident, served under President Theodore Roosevelt as the 26th Vice President of the United States from 1905 to 1909.
Stephen Goldsmith was mayor of Indianapolis for two terms starting in 1992. He became known for his innovative and practical urban renewal programs.
Benjamin Harrison, U.S. President – Indy’s own Benjamin Harrison was born in Ohio but spent the bulk of his life in the capitol of Indiana. A forward-looking, dynamic man and public servant, he was not only the 23rd president of the United States, but a Brigadier General during the American Civil War. The city honors their most famous resident by maintaining the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Home as a public museum. A visit there is always a favorite of the many things to do in Indianapolis.
Thomas A. Hendricks lived in both Indianapolis and Shelbyville, Indiana, and is famous for his election as the 21st Vice President of the United States. Hendricks served under President Grover Cleveland.
Ruth Lilly, last heir to the vast fortune of the Eli Lilly and Company family, worked behind the scenes throughout her long life to carry on the Lilly tradition of philanthropy in Indianapolis and beyond.
William H.H. Miller, 40th Attorney General of the United States, was a resident of many years of Indianapolis. He served in that office under President Benjamin Harrison fro 1889 to 1893.
Dan Quayle is a native Hoosier, born in Indianapolis and raised in Huntington, Indiana. He served under George Bush, Sr. as the 44th Vice President of the United States.
May Wright Sewallchampioned female rights in Indianapolis during the turn of the twentieth century; she is one of the most influential feminists of her time.

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