- J. Howard McGrath
name = James Howard McGrath
order = 60th
caption = McGrath (middle) with
Theodore Francis Green(middle left) and Harry S. Truman(far right).
office = Governor of Rhode Island
term_start = 1941
term_end = 1945
William Henry Vanderbilt III
John O. Pastore
birth_date = birth date|1903|11|28
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
death_date = death date and age|1966|09|02|1903|11|28
Narragansett, Rhode Island
party = Democrat
James Howard McGrath (
November 28 1903– September 2 1966) was an American politician and attorneyfrom the U.S. stateof Rhode Island.
McGrath, a Democrat, served as U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island before becoming Governor, U.S. Solicitor General, U.S. Senator, chairman of the
Democratic National Committeeand Attorney General of the United States.
McGrath was born in
Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He graduated from La Salle Academy, Providencein 1922, from Providence Collegein 1926, and from Boston Universityin 1929. From 1930 to 1934 he was the city solicitor of Central Falls, Rhode Island. During this time he was also interested in the real estate, insurance, and bankingindustries. He served as United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Islandfrom 1934 to 1940.
From 1940 until 1945, he was
Governor of Rhode Island, reorganizing the juvenile court system while sponsoring a workers' compensation fund and a labor relations board, but he resigned in the middle of his third term to accept appointment as Solicitor General of the United States(1945-46).
McGrath was elected as a Democrat to the
United States Senatefrom Rhode Island in 1946, joining an 80th Congress(1947-49) that had unaccustomed Republican majorities in both houses. He was briefly chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbiafor the 81st Congress(to which the 1948 election had returned Democratic majorities). In the Senate, McGrath opposed reducing wartime economic controls and taxes, wishing to spend the latter instead on Social Security, national health insurance and education. [http://www.answers.com/topic/j-howard-mcgrath "J. Howard McGrath" in "West's Encyclopedia of American Law" (1998)]
He was chairman of the
Democratic National Committeefrom 1947 to 1949. In managing President Harry Truman's successful 1948 election campaign, McGrath alienated white Southerners but won over crucial black constituencies by integrating the Democratic national headquarters staff. [http://www.answers.com/topic/j-howard-mcgrath "J. Howard McGrath" in "West's Encyclopedia of American Law" (1998)]
President Truman appointed Sen. McGrath
Attorney General of the United Stateson August 24, 1949. He resigned on April 3, 1952, after he had refused to cooperate in a corruption investigation initiated by his own department. Truman asked for and received McGrath's resignation. [Marcus, "Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power," 1977, p. 35-36.]
McGrath entered the private practice of law in
Washington, D.C., and Providence. In 1960, he was an unsuccessful candidate to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. Theodore Francis Green(Democrat of Rhode Island), losing the Democratic primary (also contested by former Gov. Dennis J. Roberts) to Claiborne Pell.
McGrath died in
Narragansett, Rhode Island, in 1966, aged 62, and is buried in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
*"J. Howard McGrath, Ex-Attorney General, Dies." "New York Times." September 3, 1966.
*Levieros, Anthony. "Upsets Come Fast; Resignation of McGrath Follows Quickly His Ousting of Morris." "New York Times." April 4, 1952.
*Marcus, Maeva. "Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power." New York: Columbia University Press, 1977. ISBN 0231041268
* [http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000456 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]
* [http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/ National Governors Association]
* [http://www.answers.com/topic/j-howard-mcgrath West's Encycylopedia of American Law at Answers.com] , provides more details than the other sources, especially about McGrath's early life, his commitment to civil rights and the financial scandals that touched him.
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