MICHAEL VINCENT DI SALLE was born in New York City and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University, completing his education in 1931. In 1933 DiSalle became Assistant District Counsel of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. He was also a member of the Ohio state legislature. During World War II he served in the National Guard. From 1939 to 1941 he was Assistant City Law Director of Toledo and then won election to the Toledo Council, serving from 1942 to 1947. He was Vice-Mayor of the city from 1944 to 1948. DiSalle originated and chaired the Toledo Labor-Management Citizens Committee, which called for a plan that became a model for other cities, putting his name on the map. He made an unsuccessful bid to return to Congress in 1946 but won election to two terms as Toledo’s Mayor. While serving his second term, he resigned to become Director of Price Stabilization and later Director of Economic Stabilization in Washington, DC. He then launched another campaign for elective office—this time the U.S. Senate, but was defeated. Although he also lost the 1956 gubernatorial election as well, DiSalle returned two years later to defeat incumbent Governor Crane O’Neill. While governor, he served on the President’s Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs. He believed strongly in the need for additional funding to upgrade educational programs, improve institutional conditions, and expand the state highway patrol, among other things. And in the face of Republican opposition, he was able during his first term to secure nearly one half-billion dollars in additional state expenditures, the bulk of which came from increased excise, corporation franchise, and sales taxes. However, after serving two gubernatorial terms, he was defeated in favor of Republican James A. Rhodes, whose platform advocated greater economy in state spending. After leaving office, DiSalle practiced law in both Columbus, Ohio and Washington, DC.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Who Was Who in America, Vol. VIII. Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, 1985.