John Vliet Lindsay (November 24, 1921 - December 19, 2000) was an American politician who served as a Congressman (1959-1965) and mayor of New York City (1966-1973).
A liberal Republican, John Lindsay was an upper class Anglo-Saxon Protestant lawyer trying to govern a working class and ethnic city. Controversial as mayor, Lindsay is credited with helping the city survive the 1960s without a major riot, but his policies were directly responsible for its fiscal crisis of the late 1970s in part due to the rapaciousness of the unions he was confronted with, particularly that of Mike Quill.
Lindsay was a liberal at a time when the cracks in the liberal coalition were becoming chasms. Nationally, working class white ethnics felt that they were disproportionately paying the "costs" of integration. The mainstream civil rights movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the NAACP was losing its footing, being overshadowed by the radicalism of H. Rap Brown, Sonny Carson, and the Black Panthers. Public sector unions refused to continue as "involuntary philanthropists" and began to make demands on the City that would severely hurt its ability to provide services. Overall, it was during Lindsay's tenure that New York became "the ungovernable city" and the job as mayor of New York became known as "the second toughest job in America".