Charming, charismatic, successful businessman and whorehouse owner, “Sunny Jim” Rolph was the longest serving mayor in San Francisco history.
He was born to British parents in the city on 23rd August 1869 and educated in the Mission District where he also lived in adult life in a large mansion at the corner of San Jose and 25th Streets. After jobs as a newsboy, clerk and messenger he entered the shipping business in 1900, forming a partnership with George Hind. For the next ten years he served as President of two banks, one of which he established, as well as founding the Rolph Shipping Company and James Rolph Company. He also directed the Ship Owners and Merchants Tugboat Company and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to his country’s entry into the First World War he supplied coal and ships to the Allied Countries. With an estimated wealth of $5 million he bought a ranch west of Stanford University. …
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