Dick Greco - 50th And 56th Mayor
Born: September 14, 1933
First Term: October 3, 1967 - April 1, 1974
Second Term: April 1, 1995 - April 1, 2003
Born in Tampa, Dick Greco, Jr. was the son of Dick Greco Sr. and Evelyn Cotarelo Greco. He graduated from Hillsborough High School, attended the University of Florida and holds a B.S. Degree in Education from the University of Tampa. Greco was the National Skeet Champion and a member of the All-American Skeet Team in 1950-51. Greco has three children: Richard, Dana and Darcy with his first wife, Dana.
Greco became active in many civic programs and was elected to City Council while serving as Vice-President of the King-Greco Hardware Company. In 1967, Dick Greco campaigned for Mayor against incumbent Nick Nuccio. He won the election with 34,001 votes to Nick Nuccio's 25,169 votes. Greco had served on the Tampa City Council from October 1, 1963 until becoming mayor on October 3, 1967. At 34 years of age, Greco was one of the youngest mayors of a major city in the United States.
Under Greco's leadership, there was a substantial reduction in the City's per capita crime rate during a period when comparable national statistics were up. He increased the Tampa police department's manpower and city employees were given new wages and benefits. Street lighting downtown was vastly improved. Greco had to deal with limited revenue, racial tensions, rising crime and the shutdown of Tampa's privately operated bus line. He solved each problem efficiently and individually, including the purchase of the bus system by the City.
With the assistance and support of City Council, Greco secured the funds from Hillsborough County to enlarge the seating capacity of Tampa Stadium from 46,477 seats to 70,000 to attract a National Football League team to Tampa. In addition, $1,900,000 was obtained from the county to expand the central public library and site preparation was begun for the Hooker's Point sewage treatment plant. When the Florida State Fair moved to its present location near Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 301, Mayor Greco worked in close cooperation with Florida legislator Terrell Sessums to acquire the site of the old fairgrounds for use by the University of Tampa which was in great need of expansion. Amidst much surprise, Greco resigned as mayor in March 1974 to become Vice President of Florida Operations for the Edward DeBartolo Company.
In March 1995, Greco again campaigned for mayor and won the election. During his second and third terms as mayor, Greco made numerous capital improvements to Tampa and improved the efficiency of city government.
Sources for this Biographical Sketch
Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa: A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.
Tampa/Hillsborough County Library Main Branch: Newspaper Clipping Collection on Dick Greco
City of Tampa Archives: Mayor Dick Greco Papers