La Follette Jr., Robert M. ("Young Bob")

Wisconsin Progressive/GOP Senator 1925-47, leading Senate isolationist, lost to McCarthy in 1946 GOP primary

Price: $40.00

Description:
Robert M. "Young Bob" La Follette, Jr. (1895-1953) Wisconsin US Senator 1925-47, son of Robert M. La Follette, Sr., brother of Philip La Follette; suicide. Private secretary to his father 1919-25, elected as a Republican to fill vacancy caused by death of his father. "Young Bob” was a champion of organized labor, gained prominence 1936-40 as chairman of a special Senate investigating committee, the La Follette Civil Liberties Committee, which exposed surveillance, physical intimidation and other techniques used by large employers to prevent workers from organizing. Chairman of Committee on Manufactures 1929-33. Supported FDR and most New Deal legislation until passage of the 1938 naval expansion bill. Re-elected 1928, formed Wisconsin Progressive Party with brother Philip 1934, party dominant in Wisconsin for a time. Reelected with Wisconsin Progressive Party 1934 & 1940. Progressives later dissolved, returned to GOP 1946. Considered Senate's leading isolationist and helped found the America First Committee. Helped draft and win passage of Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, which modernized legislative process in Congress He was unsuccessful as a Republican in 1946 re-election bid. He ran a conservative campaign against the United Nations and was critical of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, but lost to Joseph McCarthy in the GOP primary by some 5,000 votes. Disbanding the Progressive Party and seeking reelection as a Republican cost support of many progressives while conservative Republicans were suspicious of La Follette who had previously run against them. Initially assured of victory, he stayed in Washington instead of returning to Wisconsin to campaign. La Follette faced an aggressive campaign by McCarthy and never could refute the latter's charges. McCarthy attacked La Follette for not enlisting during the war, though La Follette was 46 when Pearl Harbor was bombed; McCarthy played up his service, using nickname "Tail-Gunner Joe" and slogan "Congress needs a tail-gunner". McCarthy claimed La Follette made huge profits from investments while McCarthy was fighting for his country; suggestion that La Follette was guilty of war profiteering was deeply damaging. In fact, McCarthy nvested in the stock market himself during the war, netting a profit of $42,000 in 1943. La Follette's partial interest in a radio station earned him a profit of $47,000 over 2 years. After his defeat, La Follette was a foreign aid advisor to the Truman administration. In a 2/8/47 Collier's Weekly article, La Follette reported his experience with Communist infiltration onto Congressional Committee staffs. The Venona project revealed 4 Soviet intelligence agents had served on his Civil Liberties Subcommittee, including Chief Counsel John Abt. On Feb. 24, 1953, he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On Sept. 9, 1953, John Lautner testified before McCarthy's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that he knew of Communists who served on La Follette's subcommittee. Some believe he killed himself out of fear of being called by McCarthy’s Subcommittee; others believe he succumbed to anxiety and depression, which plagued him much of his life. SP, Erlander studio b&w 1925 portrait of “Young Bob” in rignt profile while US Senator, signed with sentiment adds 1931.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search