Edward Brooke

Last updated

Edward W. Brooke III
Edward brooke senator.jpg
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1967 January 3, 1979
Preceded by Leverett Saltonstall
Succeeded by Paul Tsongas
51st Attorney General of Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1963 January 3, 1967
Governor Endicott Peabody
John Volpe
Preceded by Edward McCormack
Succeeded by Ed Martin (Acting)
Personal details
Born
Edward William Brooke III

(1919-10-26)October 26, 1919
Washington, D.C., U.S.
DiedJanuary 3, 2015(2015-01-03) (aged 95)
Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Remigia Ferrari-Scacco (1947–1979)
Anne Brooke (1979–2015)
Children3
Education Howard University (BA)
Boston University (LLB)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army.svg  United States Army
Years of service1941–1946
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit 366th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War II

Edward William Brooke III (October 26, 1919 – January 3, 2015) was an American Republican politician. In 1966, he became the first African American popularly elected to the United States Senate. [note 1] He represented Massachusetts in the Senate from 1967 to 1979.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

Massachusetts State of the United States of America

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Contents

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Brooke graduated from the Boston University School of Law after serving in the United States Army during World War II. After serving as chairman of the Finance Commission of Boston, Brooke won election as Massachusetts Attorney General in 1962. In 1966, he defeated Democratic Governor Endicott Peabody in a landslide to win election to the Senate.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Boston University School of Law is the law school of Boston University, located on the university's campus on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

In the Senate, Brooke aligned with the liberal faction of Republicans. He co-wrote the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibits housing discrimination. Brooke became a prominent critic of President Richard Nixon and was the first Senate Republican to call for Nixon's resignation in light of the Watergate scandal. Brooke won re-election in 1972, but he was defeated by Democrat Paul Tsongas in 1978. After leaving the Senate, Brooke practiced law in Washington, D.C. and was affiliated with various businesses and non-profits.

Rockefeller Republican Political ideology within the American Republican Party

The Rockefeller Republicans, also called Moderate or Liberal Republicans, were members of the Republican Party (GOP) in the 1930s–1970s who held moderate to liberal views on domestic issues, similar to those of Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York (1959–1973) and Vice President of the United States (1974–1977). Rockefeller Republicans were most common in the Northeast and the West Coast with their larger liberal constituencies while they were rare in the South and Midwest. They often saw themselves as champions of "good government", contrasting themselves to the often corrupt machine politics of the Democratic Party, particularly in large cities.

Civil Rights Act of 1968 United States law

The Civil Rights Act of 1968,, is a landmark law in the United States signed into law during the King assassination riots by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Housing discrimination in the United States began after the abolition of slavery, typically as part of the "Jim Crow laws" that enforced racial segregation. The federal government began to take action against these laws in 1917, when the Supreme Court ruled in Buchanan v. Warley that ordinances prohibiting blacks from occupying or owning buildings in majority-white neighborhoods, and vice versa, was unconstitutional.

Early years

Edward William Brooke III was born on October 26, 1919, in Washington, D.C., to Edward William Brooke Jr. and Helen (Seldon) Brooke. He was the second of three children; [1] He was raised in a middle-class section of the city, and attended Dunbar High School, then one of the most prestigious academic high schools for African Americans. [2] After graduating in 1936, he enrolled in Howard University, where he first considered medicine, but ended up studying social studies and political science. [3] Brooke graduated in 1941, and enlisted in the United States Army immediately after the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. [4]

Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.) public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School is a public secondary school located in Washington, D.C., United States. The school is located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington, two blocks from the intersection of New Jersey and New York avenues. Dunbar, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Howard University university in Washington D.C.

Howard University is a private, federally chartered historically black university (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. It is categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with higher research activity and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

Brooke was commissioned as an officer, served five years in the Army, saw combat in Italy during World War II as a member of the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment, and earned a Bronze Star Medal. In Italy Brooke met his future wife Remigia Ferrari-Scacco, with whom he had two daughters, Remi and Edwina. Following his discharge, Brooke graduated from the Boston University School of Law in 1948. "I never studied much at Howard," he reflected, "but at Boston University, I didn't do much else but study." [5] His papers are stored at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Bronze Star Medal United States military decoration for wartime meritorious service or valor

The Bronze Star Medal is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Political career

In 1950 he ran for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. Brooke won the Republican nomination, but lost the general election. [6] Brooke made two more tries for office, including one for secretary of state, but lost both races. [7] The loss in the secretary's race (to Kevin White, a future mayor of Boston) was particularly close. Republican leaders took notice of Brooke's potential. [8]

Massachusetts House of Representatives lower house of U.S. state legislature

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from 14 counties each divided into single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. The House of Representatives convenes at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth is the principal public information officer of the state government of the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

Governor John Volpe sought to reward Brooke for his effort, and offered him a number of jobs, most judicial in nature. Seeking a position with a higher political profile, Brooke eventually accepted the position of chairman of the Finance Commission of Boston, where he investigated financial irregularities and uncovered evidence of corruption in city affairs. He was described in the press as having "the tenacity of a terrier", and it was reported that he "restore[d] to vigorous life an agency which many had thought moribund." [9] He parlayed his achievements there into a successful election as Attorney General of Massachusetts in 1962; he was the first elected African-American Attorney General of any state. [10] In this position, Brooke gained a reputation as a vigorous prosecutor of organized crime and corruption, securing convictions against a number of members of the Furcolo administration; an indictment against Furcolo was dismissed due to lack of evidence. [11] He also coordinated with local police departments on the Boston strangler case, although the press mocked him for permitting an alleged psychic to participate in the investigation. [7] Brooke was portrayed in the 1968 film dramatizing the case by William Marshall.

U.S. Senator

Brooke at the 1968 Republican National Convention Edward Brooke at the 1968 RNC (2) (cropped).jpg
Brooke at the 1968 Republican National Convention

In 1966, Brooke defeated former Governor Endicott Peabody with 1,213,473 votes to 744,761, and served as a United States Senator for two terms, from January 3, 1967, to January 3, 1979. The black vote had, Time wrote, "no measurable bearing" on the election as less than 3% of the state's population was black, and Peabody also supported civil rights for blacks. Brooke said, "I do not intend to be a national leader of the Negro people", and the magazine said that he "condemned both Stokely Carmichael and Georgia's Lester Maddox" as extremists; his historic election gave Brooke "a 50-state constituency, a power base that no other Senator can claim." [7] A member of the moderate-to-liberal Northeastern wing of the Republican Party, Brooke organized the Senate's "Wednesday Club" of progressive Republicans who met for Wednesday lunches and strategy discussions. [12] Brooke, who supported Michigan Governor George W. Romney [7] and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller's bids for the 1968 GOP presidential nomination against Richard Nixon's, often differed with President Nixon on matters of social policy and civil rights. [13] In 1967, Brooke was awarded the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. [14]

In 1967, Brooke went to Vietnam on a three-week trip as a fact-finding mission. During his first formal speech in Senate following the trip, he reversed his previous position on Vietnam War that increased negotiations with the North Vietnamese rather than an escalation of the fighting were needed. He began to favor President Johnson's "patient" approach to Vietnam as he had been convinced that "the enemy is not disposed to participate in any meaningful negotiations". [15]

By his second year in the Senate, Brooke had taken his place as a leading advocate against discrimination in housing and on behalf of affordable housing. [16] With Walter Mondale, a Minnesota Democrat and fellow member of the Senate Banking Committee, he co-authored the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing. The Act also created HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity as the primary enforcer of the law. [16] President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Dissatisfied with the weakened enforcement provisions that emerged from the legislative process, Brooke repeatedly proposed stronger provisions during his Senate career.[ citation needed ] In 1969, Congress enacted the "Brooke Amendment" to the federal publicly assisted housing program which limited the tenants' out-of-pocket rent expenditure to 25 percent of their income. [16]

During the Nixon presidency, Brooke opposed repeated Administration attempts to close down the Job Corps and the Office of Economic Opportunity and to weaken the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—all foundational elements of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.[ citation needed ]

In 1969, Brooke spoke at a Wellesley College's commencement against "coercive protest" and was understood by some students as calling protesters "elite ne'er-do-wells" [17] Then student government president Hillary Rodham departed from her planned speech to rebut Brooke's words, affirming the "indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest," for which she was featured in Life magazine. [17] [18] [19] [20]

Brooke was a leader of the bipartisan coalition that defeated the Senate confirmation of Clement Haynsworth, the President's nominee to the Supreme Court. A few months later, he again organized sufficient Republican support to defeat Nixon's second Supreme Court nominee Harrold Carswell. Nixon next nominated Harry A. Blackmun, who was confirmed and later wrote the Roe v. Wade opinion. [13]

Despite Brooke's disagreements with Nixon, the president reportedly respected the senator's abilities; after Nixon's election he had offered to make Brooke a member of his cabinet, or appoint him as ambassador to the UN. [16] The press discussed Brooke as a possible replacement for Spiro Agnew as Nixon's running mate in the 1972 presidential election. [21] While Nixon retained Agnew, Brooke was re-elected in 1972, defeating Democrat John J. Droney by a vote of 64%–35%.

Before the first year of his second term ended, Brooke became the first Republican to call on President Nixon to resign, [16] on November 4, 1973, shortly after the Watergate-related "Saturday night massacre". He had risen to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee and on two powerful Appropriations subcommittees, Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Foreign Operations. From these positions, Brooke defended and strengthened the programs he supported; for example, he was a leader in enactment of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which ensured married women the right to establish credit in their own name. [22]

Senator Edward Brooke meeting with President Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office shortly after taking office in the Senate in 1967. Brooke and Johnson - Oval Office.jpg
Senator Edward Brooke meeting with President Lyndon Johnson in the Oval Office shortly after taking office in the Senate in 1967.

In 1974, with Indiana senator Birch Bayh, Brooke led the fight to retain Title IX, a 1972 amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965, which guarantees equal educational opportunity (including athletic participation) to girls and women.[ citation needed ]

In 1975, with the extension and expansion of the Voting Rights Act at stake, Brooke faced senator John Stennis (D-Mississippi) in "extended debate" and won the Senate's support for the extension. In 1976, he also took on the role of supporter of wide-scale, legalized abortion. The Appropriations bill for HHS became the battleground over this issue because it funds Medicaid. The Anti-abortion movement fought, eventually successfully, to prohibit funding for abortions of low-income women insured by Medicaid. Brooke led the fight against restrictions in the Senate Appropriations Committee and in the House–Senate Conference until his defeat.[ citation needed ] The press again speculated on his possible candidacy for the Vice Presidency as Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976, with Time calling him an "able legislator and a staunch party loyalist". [23]

In Massachusetts, Brooke's support among Catholics weakened due to his stance on abortion. [24] During the 1978 re-election campaign, the state's bishops spoke in opposition to his leading role.

Brooke went through a divorce late in his second term. His finances were investigated by the Senate, and John Kerry, then a prosecutor in Middlesex County, announced an investigation into statements Brooke made in the divorce case. Prosecutors eventually determined that Brooke had made false statements about his finances during the divorce, and that they were pertinent, but not material enough to have affected the outcome. Brooke was not charged with a crime, but the negative publicity cost him some support in his 1978 reelection campaign, and he lost to Paul Tsongas. [6] [25] [26]

Post-Senate life

After leaving the Senate, Brooke practiced law in Washington, D.C., partner O'Connor & Hannan; of counsel, Csaplar & Bok, Boston. He also served as chairman of the board of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. [27] In 1984 he was selected as chairman of the Boston Bank of Commerce, and one year later he was named to the board of directors of Grumman. [28]

In 1992, a Brooke assistant stated in a plea agreement as part of an investigation into corruption at the Department of Housing and Urban Development that Brooke had falsely answered questions about whether he or the assistant had tried to improperly influence HUD officials on behalf of housing and real estate developers who had paid large consulting fees to Brooke. [29] The HUD investigation ended with no charges being brought against Brooke. [30]

In 1996, Brooke became the first chairman of the World Policy Council, a think tank of Alpha Phi Alpha, an African-American fraternity. The Council's purpose is to expand the fraternity's involvement in politics, and social and current policy to encompass international concerns. In 2006 Brooke served as the council's chairman emeritus and was honorary chairman at the Centennial Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha held in Washington, D.C. [31]

Edward Brooke is congratulated by President George W. Bush at the Ceremony for the 2004 Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The East Room of the White House. Bush presents Medal of Freedom to Edward William Brooke.jpg
Edward Brooke is congratulated by President George W. Bush at the Ceremony for the 2004 Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The East Room of the White House.

On June 20, 2000, a newly constructed Boston courthouse was dedicated in his honor. The Edward W. Brooke Courthouse is part of the Massachusetts Trial Court system, and houses the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court, Boston Juvenile Court, Family Court, and Boston Housing Court, among others. [32]

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Edward Brooke on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. [33]

In September 2002, he was diagnosed with breast cancer and assumed a national role in raising awareness of the disease among men. [34]

On June 23, 2004, President George W. Bush awarded Brooke the Presidential Medal of Freedom. [35] That same year he received the Jeremy Nicholson Negro Achievement Award, acknowledging his outstanding contributions to the African-American community. [36]

Two days after his 90th birthday, Brooke was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on October 28, 2009. [10]

On January 3, 2015, Brooke died at his home in Coral Gables, Florida, at the age of 95. [16] [37] [38] [39] He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 8, Site 5190-5-RH. [40]

Awards and honors

See also

Notes

  1. The first African-American senator, Hiram Rhodes Revels, was appointed by the Mississippi state legislature to an unexpired term in 1870. Blanche Bruce was the first African American elected to the Senate, elected by the Mississippi state legislature to a full term in 1874. Prior to the 17th Amendment in 1913, U.S. Senators were elected by state legislatures.

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References

  1. Cutler, pp. 13–14.
  2. Cutler, pp. 14–18.
  3. Cutler, p. 20.
  4. Cutler, p. 23.
  5. Barlow, Rich (February 2015). "Remembering a Pioneering Politician". Bostonia. Boston University: 12.
  6. 1 2 Jacobs, Sally. "The unfinished chapter" Boston Globe, March 5, 2000.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "The Senate: An Individual Who Happens To Be a Negro". Time. 89 (7). February 17, 1967. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  8. Cutler, p. 63.
  9. Cutler, pp. 65–67.
  10. 1 2 "Former senator awarded Congressional Gold Medal". CNN. October 28, 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2009. .
  11. Cutler, pp. 104–105.
  12. Giroux, Greg (January 4, 2015). "Edward Brooke Served in a Different Era of Senate Politics". Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  13. 1 2 Martin, Douglas (January 3, 2015). "Edward W. Brooke III, 95, Senate Pioneer, Is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  14. NAACP Spingarn Medal Archived 2014-08-02 at the Wayback Machine
  15. "BROOKE, Edward William, III". History, Art & Archives. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Feeney, Mark – Metro. "Edward W. Brooke, first African-American elected to the US Senate since Reconstruction, dies". The Boston Globe . January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  17. 1 2 The Choice 2016, FRONTLINE, PBS, 30:30–32:30
  18. Dedman, Bill (May 9, 2007). "Reading Hillary Rodham's hidden thesis". MSNBC. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  19. Rodham, Hillary D. (1969). Hillary D. Rodham's 1969 Student Commencement Speech (Speech). Wellesley College. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  20. Dougherty (ed.), Biography: Hillary Clinton, 10:00–11:00, retrieved July 1, 2017
  21. "The Brooke Scenario". Time. December 13, 1971. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  22. Williams, Christie (October 27, 2009). "Edward Brooke to Be Honored". RollCall.com . Retrieved December 7, 2016. And he introduced and passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which leveled the playing field for women seeking access to credit and loans.
  23. "A Brand New Race for 2nd Place". Time. November 17, 1975. Archived from the original on July 16, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  24. "Edward Brooke – obituary". Telegraph. January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  25. "/ Photo gallery". Boston.com. June 16, 1978. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  26. United Press International, Galveston Daily News, Sen. Brooke Not To Face Prosecution For Perjury, August 2, 1978.
  27. "The Black Social History". Sitting Bull.com. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  28. "BROOKE, Edward William, III". house.gov.
  29. Aide Implicates Ex-Senator in H.U.D. Case, New York Times, November 22, 1992.
  30. "Counsel Clears Ex-senator in HUD Case", Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, June 3, 1995.
  31. Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (2005). Alpha Phi Alpha Men: "A Century of Leadership (Video). Rubicon Productions.
  32. Dedication of the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse Archived October 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine , a news release from Boston University.
  33. Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books. ISBN   1-57392-963-8.
  34. Clementson, Lynette (June 10, 2003). "Surprise Role for Ex-Senator: Male Breast Cancer Patient". New York Times. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008.
  35. "Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients". United States Senate. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  36. News, A. B. C. (February 1, 2013). "The 8 African-American Senators".
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  38. "Edward W Brooke, first black man to win popular election to US Senate, dies". The Guardian. January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
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  40. Edward Brooke at Find a Grave
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Sources

Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward McCormack
Attorney General of Massachusetts
1963–1967
Succeeded by
Ed Martin
Acting
Party political offices
Preceded by
Leverett Saltonstall
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
(Class 2)

1966, 1972, 1978
Succeeded by
Ray Shamie
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Leverett Saltonstall
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
1967–1979
Served alongside: Ted Kennedy
Succeeded by
Paul Tsongas
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Harry F. Byrd Jr.
Oldest living United States Senator
2013–2015
Succeeded by
John Glenn