This sculpture bust of City Comptroller, W. Arthur Cunningham (1894-1934) is by Emil Sieburn (1888-1942). The subject was a rising star in the political realm of the New York City, whose life was cut tragically short.
Born in Manhattan, Cunningham was raised in Brooklyn, where he attended St. James’s Academy. He received his L.L.B. degree from Fordham Law School in 1915, but postponed his legal career to serve his country in World War I. Cunningham distinguished himself in combat as a major in the 69th (later 165th) Regiment, A.E.F. He served as counsel and later vice president to the Textile Banking Corporation until 1933, when he was elected City Comptroller on Mayor LaGuardia’s fusion ticket. Cunningham died suddenly of a heart attack while horseback riding on Long Island on May 5, 1934.