Pendergast , was an American political boss who controlled Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri from to Although he only briefly held elected office as an alderman , Pendergast, in his capacity as Chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Party, was able to use his large network of family and friends to help elect politicians through voter fraud in some cases and hand out government contracts and patronage jobs. He became wealthy in the process, although his addiction to gambling, especially horse racing, later led to a large accumulation of personal debts. In , he was convicted of income tax evasion and served 15 months in a Federal prison. The Pendergast organization helped launch the political career of Harry S. Truman , a fact that caused Truman's early enemies to dub him "The Senator from Pendergast.
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