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RUSSELL, JACK PAUL (2 Feb. 1915-7 June 1979), 16th ward councilman from 1943-71, was born Paul Ruschak in the Buckeye Rd. area of Cleveland to Stephen and Mary Ruschak, immigrants from Austria-Hungary. He began in politics by managing Joseph Stearns's council campaign in 1933, and built his influence in the neighborhood by publishing newspapers, including the Buckeye Press. In the late 1930s, he changed his name to Jack Paul Russell, and in 1943 he was elected to city council. He was Democratic majority leader from 1944-52 and council president from 1955-63. After losing the council presidency to Jas. V. Stanton, he continued representing the 16th ward until 1971. Russell, with his trademark white Stetson hat, Cuban cigar, and black Cadillac, was an influential ward politician who used his Buckeye area political base to rise to power in city government. He supported projects aimed at improving the city and was noted for keeping his word. In 1957, he lectured at Harvard on municipal government; a year later, he was the subject of a national CBS television documentary dealing with urban machine politics. During his years in council, he operated several businesses, including the Ohio Fire Protective Systems. In 1935 he married Irene Maguary, and they had 3 children, Richard, Marilyn Richards, and Elaine Thomas. He died in Cleveland.

Finding aid for the Jack P. Russell Papers. WRHS.