Born in Oswego, New York, Herron came to Pittsburgh as a blue-collar worker and quickly entered leadership as President of the Bricklayers Union. Using his labor connections Herron ran for City Council successfully in 1913 and served on council until his victory in the mayor"s race of 1933. Herron served only one term as Pittsburgh Mayor and had an uneventful administration.
During his term the city adopted the repeal of the commonwealth"s "Sunday Blue Laws" prohibiting business and sports for 24 hours.
The repeal of the Blue Laws made it possible for the future Pittsburgh Steelers to join the National Football League. Upon leaving the mayor"s office he served as County Commissioner until his death in 1947.
To date, Herron holds the distinction of having been the last Republican mayor of the City of Pittsburgh.