Goldwater, Barry Morris

Goldwater, Barry Morris, 1909–98, U.S. senator (1953–65, 1969–87), b. Phoenix, Ariz. He studied at the Univ. of Arizona, but left in 1929 to enter his family's department-store business. After noncombat service in World War II, he won election to the Phoenix city council. In the U.S. Senate, Goldwater advocated state right-to-work laws, a reduction of public ownership of utilities, and decreases in welfare and foreign aid appropriations. He attacked subversive activities and opposed the senatorial censure of Joseph R. McCarthy . Goldwater became the acknowledged leader of the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party. In 1964, as the Republican presidential nominee, he was decisively defeated by President Lyndon B. Johnson . Nonetheless, many believe that Goldwater initiated a conservative revolution in Republican politics and American public opinion that ultimately led to the election (1980) of President Ronald Reagan . Goldwater was again elected to the Senate in 1968, 1974, and 1980. In his later years, Goldwater, basically libertarian, often clashed with cultural conservatives. He wrote The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), Why Not Victory? (1962), The Conscience of a Majority (1970), and Goldwater (1988) with Jack Casserly. His son Barry Morris Goldwater, Jr., 1938–, b. Los Angeles, was a U.S. congressman from California (1968–83).

See biographies by L. Edwards (1995) and R. A. Goldberg (1995); studies by K. Hess (1967), J. H. Kessel (1968), and R. Perlstein (2001).

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