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Frank D. O'Connor

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Title: Frank D. O'Connor  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Elmhurst, Queens, Niagara University, Arthur Goldberg, Brooklyn Law School, New York gubernatorial elections, Robert M. Morgenthau, The Wrong Man, New York City Council, O'Connor
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Frank D. O'Connor

Frank D. O'Connor (December 20, 1909 Manhattan, New York City - December 2, 1992 Flushing, Queens, NYC) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was District Attorney of Queens County, New York from 1956 to 1965.


O'Connor was the son of Irish immigrants. He grew up in Elmhurst and graduated from Newtown High School and Niagara University in 1932, and from Brooklyn Law School in 1934. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He later practiced law in Queens and became active in the Democratic Party.

O’Connor was a member of the New York State Senate (6th District) from 1949 to 1952, and (8th District) in 1955. He gained fame as a lawyer in 1953, when he defended Christopher Emanuel Balestrero, a bass player at the Stork Club falsely accused of armed robbery. The story was the basis of the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Wrong Man, in which O'Connor was portrayed by Anthony Quayle.

O'Connor was elected Queens D.A. in 1955, serving until 1965. He was a delegate to the 1960 and 1964 Democratic National Conventions. He was President of the New York City Council from 1966 to 1968, and ran in 1966 unsuccessfully for Governor of New York against Nelson Rockefeller.

He was a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1969 until 1986, from 1976 on the Appellate Division.

He died on December 2, 1992, at the Booth Memorial Hospital in Flushing from head injuries he had suffered 13 days earlier when he fell down a flight of stairs at his home.


  • Biography of Frank D. O'Connor, New York City Department of Parks
  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • in NYT on December 3, 1992
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Corey
New York State Senate, 6th District
1949 - 1952
Succeeded by
Bernard Tompkins
Preceded by
Thomas Cuite
New York State Senate, 8th District
Succeeded by
Bernard Tompkins
Preceded by
T. Vincent Quinn
Queens County District Attorney
1956 - 1965
Succeeded by
Thomas Mackell
Preceded by
Paul Screvane
New York City Council President
1966 - 1968
Succeeded by
Francis X. Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert M. Morgenthau
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Arthur Goldberg

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