Brownell, Herbert, Jr.

Brownell, Herbert, Jr. brounĕlˈ [key], 1904–96, U.S. attorney general (1953–57), b. Peru, Nebr. A lawyer in private practice in New York City (1927–53, 1957–89), he became active in the Republican party and served (1933–37) in the state legislature. He managed Thomas E. Dewey's successful campaign for the New York governorship (1942) as well as Dewey's unsuccessful presidential bids (1944, 1948). From 1944 to 1946 he chaired the Republican National Committee. A key supporter of Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential campaign, Bownell was named attorney general and functioned as a close adviser to the president. Brownell was central in the nomination of Earl Warren as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in the appointment of federal judges who advanced racial integration in the South. Although his anticommunism pleased some conservatives, Southerners in Congress were angered by his support for African-American civil rights, and in 1957 he resigned, returning to his New York practice.

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