Pulse: Chatter: Philadelphia Magazine 100 Years: The Year of the Bull

In honor of our centennial, we look back at some of the stories that shaped Philly Mag


The 1970s saw a lot of Frank Rizzo stories: Rizzo the Bully, Rizzo the Reformer, Rizzo the Godfather, Rizzo the Racist. In “The Year of the Bull” (March 1973), Jim Riggio tried to wrangle all the Rizzo personas into one sprawling profile of "the real man.” Unswayed by anti-Rizzo staffers — or by D. Herbert Lipson, the magazine’s chairman and a public Rizzo ally — Riggio finally decided that the (in)famous mayor was “whatever you want him to be, depending on where you stand to do your looking.” While hardly provocative, this did, Lipson notes, explain the mayor’s peculiar cachet. “You loved him and you hated him,” he says. “But for better or worse, he was one of the city’s great characters.”

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