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Estes Kefauver

Estes Kefauver

Overview
Carey Estes Kefauver was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 from Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

. A member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1949 to his death in 1963.

After leading a much-publicized investigation into organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 in the early 1950s, he twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. In 1956, he was selected by the Democratic National Convention
1956 Democratic National Convention
The 1956 National Convention of the Democratic Party nominated former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for President and Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee for Vice President. It was held in the International Amphitheatre on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois August 13–17 1956. Unsuccessful...

 to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson.
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Quotations

Presidential ambition is a disease which can only be cured by embalming fluid.

Encyclopedia
Carey Estes Kefauver was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 from Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

. A member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from 1949 to his death in 1963.

After leading a much-publicized investigation into organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 in the early 1950s, he twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. In 1956, he was selected by the Democratic National Convention
1956 Democratic National Convention
The 1956 National Convention of the Democratic Party nominated former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for President and Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee for Vice President. It was held in the International Amphitheatre on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois August 13–17 1956. Unsuccessful...

 to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. Still holding his U.S. Senate seat after the Stevenson-Kefauver ticket lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket in 1956, Kefauver was named chair of the U.S. Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee
United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights is one of seven subcommittees within the Senate Judiciary Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

 in 1957 and served as its chairman until his death.

Early life


Kefauver was born in Madisonville, Tennessee
Madisonville, Tennessee
Madisonville is a city in Monroe County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,939 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Monroe County and the location of Hiwassee College.-Geography:...

, to Robert Cooke Kefauver and Phredonia Bradford Estes. Robert Kefauver was a hardware manager. Estes attended the University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee is a public land-grant university headquartered at Knoxville, Tennessee, United States...

 from 1922 to 1924, receiving a bachelor of arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree and being initiated into the Lambda Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. After a year of teaching mathematics and coaching football at a Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs is the 10th most populous city in the U.S. state of Arkansas, the county seat of Garland County, and the principal city of the Hot Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area encompassing all of Garland County...

, high school, he attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, from which he received an LL.B.
Bachelor of Laws
The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate, or bachelor, degree in law originating in England and offered in most common law countries as the primary law degree...

 cum laude in 1927. For the next dozen years Kefauver practiced law in Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the US state of Tennessee , with a population of 169,887. It is the seat of Hamilton County...

, first with the firm of Cooke, Swaney & Cooke, as a partner in Sizer, Chambliss & Kefauver, and later in the firm of Duggan, McDonald, & Kefauver. In 1935 he married Nancy Pigott of Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, eight years his junior, whom he had met during her visit to relatives in Chattanooga. They raised four children, one of them adopted. Mrs. Kefauver died in 1967.

Aroused by his role as attorney for the Chattanooga News, Kefauver became interested in local politics and sought election to the Tennessee Senate
Tennessee Senate
The Tennessee Senate is the upper house of the Tennessee state legislature, which is known formally as the Tennessee General Assembly.The Tennessee Senate, according to the state constitution of 1870, is composed of 33 members, one-third the size of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Senators...

 in 1938. He lost but in 1939 spent two months as Finance and Taxation Commissioner under the newly-elected governor Prentice Cooper
Prentice Cooper
William Prentice Cooper was an American politician and Governor of Tennessee from 1939 to 1945.-Life and career:A native of Bedford County, Tennessee, he attended Vanderbilt University and then Harvard University...

. When Congressman Sam D. McReynolds
Sam D. McReynolds
Samuel Davis McReynolds was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for the 3rd congressional district of Tennessee. He was born on a farm near Pikeville, Tennessee in Bledsoe County on April 16, 1872. He attended the rural schools, People's College at...

 of Tennessee's 3rd district, which included Chattanooga, died in 1939, Kefauver was elected to succeed him in the House.

In the House


Following his election to the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 as a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, he was reelected four more times.

As a member of the House during President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's time in office, Kefauver distinguished himself from the other Democrats in Tennessee's congressional delegation, most of whom were conservatives
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

, by becoming a staunch supporter of the President's New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 legislation. In particular, he backed the controversial Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

 and was best known for his successful bid to rebuff the efforts of Tennessee Senator Kenneth McKellar
Kenneth McKellar
Kenneth Douglas McKellar was an American politician from Tennessee who served as a United States Representative from 1911 until 1917 and as a United States Senator from 1917 until 1953...

 to gain political control over the agency. As a member of the House, "Kefauver began to manifest his concern over the growing concentration of economic power in the United States", concentrating much of his legislative efforts on congressional reform and anti-monopoly measures. He chaired, for instance, the House Select Committee on Small Business
United States House Committee on Small Business
The United States House Committee on Small Business is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives.-History:On December 4, 1941, the U. S...

, which investigated economic concentration in the U.S. business world in 1946. That same year, Kefauver also introduced legislation to plug loopholes in the Clayton Antitrust Act
Clayton Antitrust Act
The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 , was enacted in the United States to add further substance to the U.S. antitrust law regime by seeking to prevent anticompetitive practices in their incipiency. That regime started with the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, the first Federal law outlawing practices...

.

In a May 1948 article that appeared in the American Economic Review
American Economic Review
The American Economic Review is a peer-reviewed academic journal of economics publishing seven issues annually by the American Economic Association. First published in 1911, it is considered one of the most prestigious journals in the field. The current editor-in-chief is Penny Goldberg . The...

, Kefauver also proposed that more staff and money be allocated to the Antitrust Division
United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division
The United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division is responsible for enforcing the antitrust laws of the United States. It shares jurisdiction over civil antitrust cases with the Federal Trade Commission and often works jointly with the FTC to provide regulatory guidance to businesses...

 of the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and to the Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

; that new legislation to make it easier to prosecute big corporations be enacted; and that the danger of monopoly should be publicized more.

The Kefauver investigation into television and juvenile delinquency in the mid 1950's led to an even more intensive investigation in the early 1960s. The new probe came about because people were increasingly concerned over violence with juveniles, and the possibility that this behavior was related to violent television programs.

His progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 stances on the issues put Kefauver in direct competition with E. H. Crump
E. H. Crump
Edward Hull "Boss" Crump was an American politician from Memphis, Tennessee. He was mayor from 1910 through 1915, and again briefly in 1940; in the intervening years he effectively appointed the mayors.-Career:...

, the former U.S. congressman, mayor of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 and boss of the state's Democratic Party, when he chose to seek the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 in 1948. During the primary, Crump and his allies accused Kefauver of being a "fellow traveler" and of working for the "pinkos and communists" with the stealth of a raccoon
Raccoon
Procyon is a genus of nocturnal mammals, comprising three species commonly known as raccoons, in the family Procyonidae. The most familiar species, the common raccoon , is often known simply as "the" raccoon, as the two other raccoon species in the genus are native only to the tropics and are...

. In a televised speech given in Memphis, in which he responded to such charges, Kefauver put on a coonskin cap
Coonskin cap
A coonskin cap is a hat fashioned from the skin and fur of a raccoon. The original coonskin cap consisted of the entire skin of the raccoon including its head and tail...

 and proudly proclaimed, "I may be a pet coon, but I'm not Boss Crump's pet coon." After he went on to win both the primary and the election, he adopted the cap as his trademark and wore it in every successive campaign.

Kefauver was unique in Tennessee politics in his outspoken liberal views, a stand that established a permanent bloc of opposition to him in the state. Kefauver's success despite his liberal views was predicated largely on his support by the Nashville Tennessean
The Tennessean
The Tennessean is the principal daily newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Its circulation area covers 39 counties in Middle Tennessee and eight counties in southern Kentucky....

, a consistently liberal newspaper that served as a focus for anti-Crump sentiment in the state. His constituency included many prominent citizens whose views were considerably less liberal than his but who admired him for his integrity.

Despite opposition from the Crump machine, Kefauver won the Democratic nomination, which in those days was tantamount to election
Tantamount to election
"Tantamount to election" is a phrase to describe a situation in which one political party so dominates the demographics of a voting district, that the person winning the party nomination for a race will virtually be assured of winning the general election...

 in Tennessee. His victory is widely seen as the beginning of the end for the Crump machine's influence in statewide politics. Once in the Senate, Kefauver began to make a name for himself as a crusader for consumer protection
Consumer protection
Consumer protection laws designed to ensure fair trade competition and the free flow of truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors and may provide additional...

 laws, antitrust
Competition law
Competition law, known in the United States as antitrust law, is law that promotes or maintains market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies....

 legislation, and civil rights for African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s. On civil rights, he was ambivalent: he admitted later that he had difficulty adjusting to the idea of racial integration
Racial integration
Racial integration, or simply integration includes desegregation . In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely...

, and in 1960 he held out to the last in favor of permitting cross-examination of black complainants in voting rights cases. But he did support the civil rights program generally and was a consistent supporter of organized labor and other movements considered liberal in the South at that time.

Overview


After being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948, Kefauver guided the Celler–Kefauver Act of 1950, which amended the Clayton Act by plugging loopholes allowing a corporation to purchase a competing firm's assets, through the U.S. Senate. Between 1957 and 1963, his U.S. Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee investigated concentration in the U.S. economy, industry by industry, and it issued a report exposing administrative, monopoly prices in the steel, automotive, bread and pharmaceutical industries. In May 1963, Kefauver's subcommittee concluded that within monopolized U.S. industries no real price competition existed anymore and also recommended that General Motors be broken up into competing firms.

Kefauver's Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee also held hearings on the pharmaceutical industry between 1959 and 1963 that led to enactment of his most famous legislative achievement, the Kefauver-Harris Drug Act
Kefauver Harris Amendment
The U.S. Kefauver Harris Amendment or "Drug Efficacy Amendment" is a 1962 amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.It introduced a requirement for drug manufacturers to provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval...

 of 1962, after Kefauver expressed shock about the excess profits that U.S. drug companies were taking in at the expense of U.S. consumers. Some of what Kefauver's hearings on the U.S. pharmaceutical industry revealed includes the following:

"Witnesses told of conflicts of interest for the AMA
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

 (whose journal
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Journal of the American Medical Association is a weekly, peer-reviewed, medical journal, published by the American Medical Association. Beginning in July 2011, the editor in chief will be Howard C. Bauchner, vice chairman of pediatrics at Boston University’s School of Medicine, replacing ...

, for example, received millions of dollars in drug advertising and was, therefore, reluctant to challenge claims made by drug company ads)…The drug companies themselves were shown to be engaged in frenzied advertising campaigns designed to sell trade name versions of drugs that could otherwise be prescribed under generic names at a fraction of the cost; this competition, in turn, had led to the marketing of new drugs that were no improvements on drugs already on the market but, nevertheless, heralded as dramatic breakthroughs without proper concern for either effectiveness or safety."

These positions made him even more unpopular with his state party's machine than ever before, especially after he, fellow Tennessee Senator Albert Gore, Sr.
Albert Gore, Sr.
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Sr. was an American politician, serving as a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party from Tennessee....

, and Senate Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

 Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 of Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 became the only three southern Senators to refuse to sign the so-called Southern Manifesto
Southern Manifesto
The Southern Manifesto was a document written February–March 1956 by Adisen and Charles in the United States Congress opposed to racial integration in public places. The manifesto was signed by 101 politicians from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South...

 in 1956. In fact, these unpopular positions, combined with his reputation as a maverick with a penchant for sanctimony, earned him so much enmity even from other Senators that one Democratic insider felt compelled to dub him "the most hated man in Congress."

Kefauver also led hearings that targeted indecent publications and pornography. Among his targets were pin-ups, including Bettie Page
Bettie Page
Bettie Mae Page was an American model who became famous in the 1950s for her fetish modeling and pin-up photos. She has often been called the "Queen of Pinups"...

, and the magazines that featured them.

Kefauver Committee


In 1950, Kefauver headed a U.S. Senate committee investigating organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

. The committee, officially known as the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce, was popularly known as the Kefauver Committee or the Kefauver hearings. The Committee held hearings in fourteen cities and heard testimony from over 600 witnesses. Many of the witnesses were high-profile crime bosses, including such well-known names as Willie Moretti
Willie Moretti
Guarino "Willie" Moretti was an underboss of the Genovese crime family and a cousin of family boss Frank Costello.-Life:...

, Joe Adonis
Joe Adonis
Joe Adonis , also known as "Joey A", "Joe Adone", "Joe Arosa", "James Arosa", and "Joe DiMeo", was a New York mobster who was an important participant in the formation of the modern Cosa Nostra crime families.-Early years:Adonis was born Giuseppe Antonio Doto in the small town of Montemarano,...

, and Frank Costello
Frank Costello
Frank Costello was an Italian New York City gangster who rose to the top of America's underworld, controlled a vast gambling empire across the United States and enjoyed political influence.Nicknamed the "Prime Minister of the Underworld", he became one of the most powerful and influential Mafia...

, the latter making himself famous by refusing to allow his face to be filmed during his questioning and then staging a much-publicized walkout. A number of politicians also appeared before the committee and saw their careers ruined. Among them were former Governor Harold G. Hoffman
Harold G. Hoffman
Harold Giles Hoffman was an American politician, a Republican who served as the 41st Governor of New Jersey, from 1935 to 1938. He also served two terms representing in the United States House of Representatives, from 1927 to 1931.-Early life:Hoffman was born in South Amboy, New Jersey to Frank...

 of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and Mayor William O'Dwyer
William O'Dwyer
William O'Dwyer was the 100th Mayor of New York City, holding that office from 1946 to 1950.-Biography:O'Dwyer was born in County Mayo, Ireland and migrated to the United States in 1910, after abandoning studies for the priesthood...

 of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The committee's hearings, which were televised live just as many Americans were buying televisions, made Kefauver nationally famous and introduced many Americans to the concept of a criminal organization known as the Mafia
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

 for the first time ever. In fact, in 1951, Kefauver appeared as a celebrity guest on the new game show What's My Line?
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations....

discussing the hearings briefly with the panel, showing how popular these hearings were with early television viewers.

Although the hearings boosted Kefauver's political prospects, they helped to end the twelve-year Senate career of Democratic Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

 Scott Lucas
Scott W. Lucas
Scott Wike Lucas was a two-term Democratic United States Senator from Illinois, and the United States Senate Majority Leader from 1948 to 1950....

. In a tight 1950 reelection race against former Illinois Representative Everett Dirksen
Everett Dirksen
Everett McKinley Dirksen was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate...

, Lucas urged Kefauver to keep his investigation away from an emerging Chicago police scandal until after election day, but Kefauver refused. Election-eve publication of stolen secret committee documents hurt the Democratic Party in Cook County
Cook County, Illinois
Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...

, cost Lucas the election, and gave Dirksen national prominence as the man who defeated the Senate majority leader.

1952 election



In the 1952 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1952
The United States presidential election of 1952 took place in an era when Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was escalating rapidly. In the United States Senate, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had become a national figure after chairing congressional...

, Kefauver decided to offer himself as a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Campaigning in his coonskin cap, often by dogsled
Dog sled
A dog sled is a sled pulled by one or more sled dogs used to travel over ice and through snow. Numerous types of sleds are used, depending on their function. They can be used for dog sled racing.-History:...

, Kefauver made history when, in an electrifying victory in the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

, he defeated President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

, the sitting President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

, prompting Truman to cease campaigning for renomination. Although Kefauver would go on to win 12 of the 15 primaries that were held that year, losing three to "favorite son
Favorite son
A favorite son is a political term.*At the quadrennial American national political party conventions, a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate...

" candidates, primaries were not, at that time, the main method of delegate selection for the national convention. Kefauver, therefore, entered the convention a few hundred votes shy of the needed majority. In the 1952 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Kefauver received 3.1 million votes, while the eventual 1952 Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois governor
Governor of Illinois
The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state....

 Adlai Stevenson, received only 78,000 votes.
Yet "the Kefauver campaign for the nomination in 1952 became the classic example of how presidential primary victories do not automatically lead to the nomination itself." Although he began the balloting far ahead of the other declared candidates, Kefauver eventually lost the nomination to Stevenson, the choice of the Democratic Party political bosses. Stevenson, a one-term governor who was up for reelection in 1952, had previously resisted calls to enter the race, but he was nominated anyway by a "Draft Stevenson" movement that had been energized by his eloquent keynote speech on the opening night of the convention. He would go on to lose the general election to General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 in a landslide.

1956 election


In 1956
United States presidential election, 1956
The United States presidential election of 1956 saw a popular Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully run for re-election. The 1956 election was a rematch of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Democrat Adlai Stevenson, whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.Incumbent President Eisenhower...

, Kefauver again sought the Democratic presidential nomination and, initially, he again won some presidential primaries. In the March 13, 1956, New Hampshire primary, for instance, Kefauver defeated Adlai Stevenson 21,701 to 3,806. A week later, Kefauver again defeated Stevenson in the Minnesota primary, winning 245,885 votes compared to Stevenson's 186,723 votes. Kefauver was also victorious in the Wisconsin primary.

By April 1956, "it appeared that Kefauver was on his way to a primary sweep matching the spectacular performance in 1952." Stevenson, however, was able to defeat Kefauver in the 1956 Oregon, Florida and California primaries and, overall, ended up winning more primary votes than Kefauver in 1956, before being re-nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention
1956 Democratic National Convention
The 1956 National Convention of the Democratic Party nominated former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for President and Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee for Vice President. It was held in the International Amphitheatre on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois August 13–17 1956. Unsuccessful...

.

In 1956, Kefauver received active competition not only from Stevenson, but also from Governor W. Averell Harriman of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, who was endorsed by former President Truman. Though Kefauver once again won the New Hampshire primary and upset all predictions by winning the Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 primary, he found himself hopelessly outmatched by Stevenson's lead in endorsements and fund raising. After a devastating loss in the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 primary, Kefauver suspended his campaign.

Kefauver's hopes were rekindled, however, when Stevenson decided to let the delegates themselves pick his vice-presidential nominee, instead of having the choice dictated to them. Although Stevenson preferred Senator John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 as his running mate, he did not attempt to influence the balloting for him in any way, and Kefauver eventually received the nomination. Stevenson went on to lose the election to Eisenhower once again, this time by an even bigger margin than in 1952.

Later career


After his 1956 defeat, Kefauver was considered the front-runner for the 1960 Democratic nomination. In an attempt to gain more public exposure, Kefauver capitalized on a nascent public campaign to restrict the sale of switchblade
Switchblade
A switchblade is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a button, lever, or switch on the handle or bolster is activated A switchblade (also known as an automatic knife, pushbutton knife, switch, Sprenger, Springer,...

 knives at the federal level by introducing legislation in 1957 to ban the sale or possession of such knives. The senator timed his hearings on the legislation to coincide with a series of lurid articles in the Saturday Evening Post and other periodicals of the day on the use of switchblades by juvenile delinquents and gangs. At each hearing the senator would display a bizarre array of confiscated bayonets, trench knives, daggers, and switchblades, all of which he described to the press as 'switchblade knives'. However, Kefauver's switchblade bill failed, in large part due to residual bad feelings between Kefauver and other senators. In 1959, the senator let it be known that he was not going to campaign a third time for the presidential nomination. He continued to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate; the abandonment of presidential ambitions led to his most productive years as a senator. While he largely faded from the public eye, he earned the respect of congressional colleagues from both parties for his independence and his sponsorship of a number of important foreign and domestic legislative measures.

When he ran for reelection to a third term in 1960, his first and, it would turn out, last attempt at running for office after refusing to sign the Southern Manifesto, he faced staunch opposition for renomination from his party's still-thriving pro-segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 wing, and he won the primary by only a slim margin. During the general election itself, polls
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

 showed Kefauver's support to be near-nonexistent and it was later said that, on election day, no one outside of Kefauver's family could be found who would admit to having voted for him. Nevertheless, Kefauver swamped his opponent, winning nearly 72% of the vote.

In 1962, Kefauver, who had become known to the public at large as the chief enemy of crooked businessmen in the Senate, introduced legislation that would eventually pass into law as the Kefauver-Harris Drug Control Act
Kefauver Harris Amendment
The U.S. Kefauver Harris Amendment or "Drug Efficacy Amendment" is a 1962 amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.It introduced a requirement for drug manufacturers to provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval...

. This bill, which Kefauver dubbed his "finest achievement" in consumer protection, imposed controls on the pharmaceutical industry that required that drug companies disclose to doctors the side-effects of their products, allow their products to be sold as generic drug
Generic drug
A generic drug is a drug defined as "a drug product that is comparable to brand/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use." It has also been defined as a term referring to any drug marketed under its...

s after having held the patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 on them for a certain period of time, and be able to prove on demand that their products were, in fact, effective and safe.

Death


On August 8, 1963, Kefauver, a heavy smoker and drinker, suffered what was reported as a 'mild' heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 on the floor of the Senate while attempting to place an antitrust amendment into a NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 appropriations bill that would have required that companies benefiting financially from the outcome of research subsidized by NASA reimburse NASA for the cost of the research. Two days after the attack, Kefauver died in his sleep in Bethesda, Maryland, of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. He was interred in the family cemetery in Madisonville. That November, President Kennedy named his widow the first head of the new Art in Embassies Program
Art in Embassies Program
Established in 1963, the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program plays a vital role in American public diplomacy through the creation of temporary exhibitions and permanent collections. AIEP produces temporary exhibitions of original works of art by American artists, on loan from a...

—Kennedy's last appointment.

The federal courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

 was renamed the Estes Kefauver Federal Building and United States Courthouse in his honor.

Electoral history


1956 United States Presidential Election (Vice President's seat)
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 (R) (inc.) 57.4%
Estes Kefauver (D) 42%
Thomas Werdel (States' Rights) 0.2%

C. Estes Kefauver Tennessee Campaigns
Year Office Winner Vote Runner-up Vote Third Candidate Vote Source
1960 U.S. Senate (TN) Estes Kefauver (D*) 594,460 A. Bradley Frazier (R) 234,053 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=62090
1954 U.S. Senate (TN) Estes Kefauver (D*) 249,121 Tom Wall (R) 106,971 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=89837
1948 U.S. Senate (TN) Estes Kefauver (D) 326,032 B. Carroll Reece (R) 166,947 John R. Neal Jr. (I) 6,103 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=89838
1946 TN-03 Estes Kefauver (D*) 26,779 George Bagwell (I) 2,725 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=470001
1944 TN-03 Estes Kefauver (D*) 32,497 Foster Johnson (R) 11,541 Ernest W. Forstner (I) 3,894 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=470000
1942 TN-03 Estes Kefauver (D*) 14,704 Walter Higgins (R) 3,831 Walter Harris (I) 902 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=469999
1940 TN-03 Estes Kefauver (D*) 35,332 Jerome Taylor (R) 16,099 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=469998
1939 TN-03 Estes Kefauver (D) 14,268 Casto Dodson (R) 5,355 John R. Neal Jr. (I) 375 http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=385462

See also

  • Kefauver hearings
    Kefauver hearings
    The United States Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce was a special committee of the United States Senate which existed from 1950 to 1951 and which investigated organized crime which crossed state borders in the United States...

  • United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency
  • Comics Code Authority
    Comics Code Authority
    The Comics Code Authority was a body created as part of the Comics Magazine Association of America, as a tool for the comics-publishing industry to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States. Member publishers submitted comic books to the CCA, which screened them for adherence to...


Further reading

  • Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster. The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen by Brad Lewis. (Enigma Books: New York, 2007. ISBN 978-1-929631-65-0)
  • "Kefauver, Estes" in American National Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 2000.

External links