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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMassachusetts / US

John William McCORMACK

(1891-1980)

McCORMACK, John William, a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Suffolk County, Mass., December 21, 1891; attended the public schools; studied law in a private law office; was admitted to the bar in 1913 and began practice in Boston, Mass.; member of the State constitutional convention in 1917 and 1918; during the First World War served in the United States Army in 1917 and 1918; served in the State house of representatives, 1920-1922; member of the State senate, 1923-1926, serving as Democratic floor leader in 1925 and 1926; delegate to all Democratic State conventions since 1920; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1932, 1940, 1944, and 1948; elected as a Democrat to the Seventieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James A. Gallivan and on the same day was elected to the Seventy-first Congress; reelected to the Seventy-second and to the nineteen succeeding Congresses and served from November 6, 1928, to January 3, 1971; chairman, Committee on Territories (Seventieth Congress), Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration (Eighty-fifth Congress); majority leader (Seventy-sixth through Seventy-ninth, Eighty-first, Eighty-second and Eighty-fourth through Eighty-seventh Congresses), minority whip (Eightieth and Eighty-third Congresses), Speaker of the House of Representatives (Eighty-seventh through Ninety-first Congresses); was not a candidate for renomination in 1970 to the Ninety-second Congress; resided in Boston, Mass., until his death in Dedham, Mass., November 22, 1980; interment in Saint Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Mass.

Bibliography

Gordon, Lester I. “John McCormack and the Roosevelt Era.” Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1976; Nelson, Garrison. “Irish Identity Politics: The Reinvention of Speaker John W. McCormack of Boston.” New England Journal of Public Policy 15 (Fall/Winter 1999/2000): 7-34.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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