McCAFFERY, MARGARET (19 July 1906 - 20 Dec. 1997) served on Cleveland City Council through six mayoral administrations over twenty-eight years. She was born in Germany, near Dusseldorf. Her parents immigrated to Canada where they lived in a refugee camp. Orphaned as a young child she was adopted by Maria Dudeck and Jacob Wagner. She danced on the vaudeville stage as a teenager, and met her future husband, a stagehand, while on tour. She married James F. "Mickey" McCaffery in 1924 and they had five children: James Jr., Maureen, Margaret, Kathleen, and Thomas Jr.
When her husband died in July 1947 after taking out petitions to run for a city council seat he had formerly occupied, Mrs. McCaffery ran in his place and was elected. For sixteen years she represented her ward in the HOUGH neighborhood until it was eliminated through redistricting. Two years after moving to the near West Side, she was returned to the council from her new neighborhood. During nearly three decades on the council she chaired the committees of public safety, aviation-lakefront, and public welfare. She received civic awards, including accolades from the safety forces, organized labor and small business groups. President Kennedy called her one of the most influential women politicians in the country. Mrs. McCaffery died at home and is buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.