42 Facts About Eugene McCarthy


Eugene Joseph McCarthy was an American politician, writer, and academic from Minnesota.


Eugene McCarthy served in the United States House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the United States Senate from 1959 to 1971.


Eugene McCarthy served as a code breaker for the United States Department of War during World War II.


Eugene McCarthy was a prominent supporter of Adlai Stevenson II for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960, and was himself a candidate for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1964.


Eugene McCarthy co-sponsored the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, though he later expressed regret about its impact and became a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.


Eugene McCarthy did not seek reelection in the 1970 Senate election.


Eugene McCarthy sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 but fared poorly in the primaries.

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Eugene McCarthy ran in several more races after that but was never elected to another office.


Eugene McCarthy was a plaintiff in the landmark campaign finance case Buckley v Valeo and supported Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.


Eugene McCarthy was the son of a deeply religious Catholic woman of German ancestry, Anna Baden McCarthy, and a strong-willed man of Irish descent, Michael John McCarthy Jr.


Eugene McCarthy grew up in Watkins with his parents and three siblings.


Eugene McCarthy attended St Anthony's Catholic School in Watkins, and spent hours reading his aunt's Harvard Classics.


Eugene McCarthy was influenced by the monks at nearby St John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and attended school there, at Saint John's Preparatory School, from which he graduated in 1932.


Eugene McCarthy went to college at Saint John's University, graduating in 1935.


Eugene McCarthy earned his master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1939.


Eugene McCarthy taught in public schools in Minnesota and North Dakota from 1935 to 1940, when he became a professor of economics and education at St John's, working there from 1940 to 1943.


Eugene McCarthy enlisted in the Army, serving as a code breaker for the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department in Washington, DC in 1944.


Eugene McCarthy was then an instructor in sociology and economics at the College of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota, from 1946 to 1949.


Eugene McCarthy became the leader of young liberals, predominately from the Midwest, called "McCarthy's Marauders".


Eugene McCarthy served as a member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Eugene McCarthy became known to a larger audience in 1960 when he supported twice-defeated presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson for the Democratic nomination.


Eugene McCarthy later regretted this, noting that "unrecognized by virtually all of the bill's supporters were provisions which would eventually lead to unprecedented growth in numbers and the transfer of policy control from the elected representatives of the American people to individuals wishing to bring relatives to this country".


Eugene McCarthy became a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform's board of advisors.


Eugene McCarthy met with Marxist-Leninist revolutionary Che Guevara in New York City in 1964 to discuss repairing relations between the US and Cuba.


In 1968, Allard K Lowenstein and his anti-Vietnam War Dump Johnson movement recruited McCarthy to run against incumbent President Lyndon B Johnson.

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Eugene McCarthy gave speeches denouncing the war before it had entered most Americans' awareness.


On December 3,1967, Eugene McCarthy addressed the Conference of Concerned Democrats in Chicago, accusing the Johnson administration of ignoring and bungling opportunities for bringing the war to a conclusion.


On February 17,1968, it was reported that Eugene McCarthy's campaign had raised only a quarter of the funds it had hoped to raise nationally.


On June 23,1968, Hubert Humphrey defeated Eugene McCarthy, securing significant delegates in their shared home state of Minnesota.


Eugene McCarthy won in Oregon against a well-organized Kennedy effort; it was considered his first official victory over Kennedy.


Eugene McCarthy styled himself as a clean politician, but criticized his opponents.


Eugene McCarthy resented that Kennedy had let him do the "dirty work" of challenging Johnson and entered the race only when it became apparent that Johnson was vulnerable.


Eugene McCarthy entered too late to compete in any primaries, but had the support of Johnson and many Democratic insiders.


Eugene McCarthy made two statements many found ill-considered: that he would accept a government including Communists in South Vietnam, and that only the relocation of inner-city blacks would solve the urban problem.


One aide recalled Eugene McCarthy sneering about his fallen rival, saying that Kennedy was "demagoguing to the last".


Eugene McCarthy appeared on the Oregon ballot as the New Party choice.


Eugene McCarthy received 20,721 votes as a write-in candidate in California.


Eugene McCarthy returned to politics as a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1972, but he fared poorly in New Hampshire and Wisconsin and soon dropped out.


Unlike the other excluded candidates, Eugene McCarthy was a longstanding national figure and had mounted credible campaigns for president in previous elections.


In 1969, Eugene McCarthy separated from his wife after 24 years of marriage, but the two never divorced.


Eugene McCarthy died of complications from Parkinson's disease at age 89 on December 10,2005, in a retirement home in Georgetown, Washington, DC, where he had lived for the previous few years.


In 2009, his alma mater, St John's University, honored McCarthy by establishing the Eugene McCarthy Distinguished Public Service Award.