Martin, Joseph William, 1884–1968, American politician, Speaker of the House of Representatives (1947–49, 1953–55), b. North Attleboro, Mass. He was a reporter (1902–8) for several newspapers until he formed a combine to purchase the North Attleboro Evening Chronicle. His newspaper work led to an interest in politics, and he served (1912–17) in the state legislature before entering the U.S. House of Representatives in 1925, where he served continuously until 1967. A staunch conservative, Martin became minority leader of the House in 1939, a position he held until 1959, except for those periods when he was Speaker. He served as permanent chairman of every Republican National convention from 1940 to 1956. After the Republican congressional defeat in the 1958 elections, Martin was ousted as Republican leader on the grounds that his leadership was not vigorous enough.
See his autobiography (1960).