James Howard McGrath

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McGrath, James Howard

(1903–66) governor, U.S. senator, attorney general; born in Woonsocket, R.I. A three-term Rhode Island governor (1940–45), he was named solicitor general of the United States (1945) and elected U.S. senator from Rhode Island (Dem., 1947–49). As chairman of the Democratic National Committee he managed Harry S. Truman's upset victory over Thomas Dewey (1948) and desegregated the committee's headquarters. Named attorney general (1949), he was known as a strong civil rights advocate if sloppy administrator. He resigned (1952) after stonewalling an investigation of alleged Justice Department corruption and never again served in public office.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.