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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMaine

Margaret Chase SMITH

(1897-1995)
Senate Years of Service:
1949-1973
Party:
Republican

SMITH, Margaret Chase, (wife of Clyde Harold Smith), a Representative and a Senator from Maine; born Margaret Madeline Chase, December 14, 1897, in Skowhegan, Somerset County, Maine; attended the public schools; taught school in Skowhegan, Maine 1916-1917; business executive for country weekly newspaper and a woolen company 1919-1930; secretary to husband while he was in Congress 1937-1940; lieutenant colonel, Air Force Reserve 1950-1958; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth Congress, by special election, June 3, 1940, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Clyde H. Smith; reelected to the four succeeding Congresses and served from June 3, 1940, to January 3, 1949; was not a candidate for reelection but was elected in 1948 to the United States Senate; reelected in 1954, 1960 and 1966 and served January 3, 1949, until January 3, 1973; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1972; chairwoman, Special Committee on Rates of Compensation (Eighty-third Congress), Republican Conference (Ninetieth through Ninety-second Congresses), ranking Republican member on Armed Services Committee (Ninetieth through Ninety-second Congresses), ranking Republican member on Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee (Eighty-eighth through Ninety-first Congresses); first woman to be placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party convention 1964; visiting professor for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation 1973-1976; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 6, 1989; was a resident of Skowhegan, Maine, until her death on May 29, 1995; remains were cremated, and ashes placed in the residential wing of the Margaret Chase Smith Library, Skowhegan, Maine.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives; Smith, Margaret Chase. Declaration of Conscience. New York: Doubleday, 1972; Sherman, Janann. No Place for a Woman: A Life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000; Hutchison, Kay Bailey. “Margaret Chase Smith.” In American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country. New York: HaperCollins, 2004: 210-243.

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

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