In the early, post-Pendergast period in Kansas City government, selection of the city's first professional city manager was critical. The special person chosen, L.P. "Perry" Cookingham, became the "czar of Kansas City." Born in Chicago, Cookingham had worked his way up from being a railroad surveyor in Illinois to being president of the International City Managers Association. A Reader's Digest article about him led to his being chosen from 50 candidates for the job in Kansas City.
Cookingham, L. P.
L. P. Cookingham, City Manager for Kansas City, Missouri, at his desk in City Hall, ca. 1945. Source: Kansas City Museum (George Fuller Green Collection).
Letter from Kansas City City Manager L. P. Cookingham to Senator Harry S. Truman. After recent flood control issues, Cookingham expresses his interest in an "upland airport". He cites fog, smoke, and air traffic among the reasons why another Kansas City airport is needed.
Letter from Senator Harry S. Truman to Kansas City City Manager L. P. Cookingham. Truman agrees with Cookingham in his desire to facilitate a new Kansas City airport and encourages Cookingham to pursue the landed needed for its development.