Nick Chillura Nuccio - 47th And 49th Mayor Of Tampa
Born: October 24, 1901
Died: August 26, 1989
First Term: October 2, 1956 - October 1, 1959
Second Term: October 1, 1963 - October 3, 1967
Born in the Ybor City section of Tampa, Florida, Nick Nuccio was the son of Vincent and Rosalie Nuccio. He attended Hillsborough High School but quit in the 10th grade and went to work as a ship fitter in Tampa's wartime ship building industry of 1918. He later operated a real estate and insurance business and, in1926, he began working as a clerk in the post office. On July 6, 1924, Nuccio married Concetta Licata and had 3 children: Vincent, Lillie and Marietta.
In 1929, the year of the stock market crash, Nuccio plunged into politics as a member of City Council from Ybor City. He served as a Tampa City Council member from 1929-1936. In 1937, he became a Hillsborough County Commissioner and served in this position until 1956. In September 1956, Nuccio campaigned against incumbent acting mayor, J.L. Young and won the election. Nuccio ran again for mayor but lost to Julian Lane. Undaunted, Nuccio challenged Lane in the October 1963 election and was re-elected mayor. In 1967, Nuccio again campaigned for mayor but lost the election to Dick Greco, Jr.
During his term as mayor, Nuccio initiated the construction of more bridges, parks, fire stations and roads than any previous administration. The Fairyland amusement park and Lowry Zoo were built under Nuccio's guidance. He placed a high priority on the construction of recreational facilities such as swimming pools and parks. Nuccio's 1957-58 budget totaled $23,000,000, the largest in the city's history and reflected both an increase of $400,000 for parks and recreation and a decrease of $500,000 for streets and sewers. Nuccio also had a new incinerator built for the city, a new library, and later extensive improvements to the streets to accommodate the increasing traffic from the Interstate 4. Further, Tampa's Police Department was transformed into a modern metropolitan police force.
Nuccio served the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County for 40 years before retiring. In 1966 he received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Tampa.
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 Nick Nuccio.
Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL