Kefauver, Carey Estes

Kefauver, Carey Estes kēfôvər [key], 1903–63, U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1949–63), b. Madisonville, Tenn., known as Estes Kefauver. He became a Chattanooga lawyer and in 1938 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until he entered the Senate in 1949. His victory in the senatorial race was conspicuous because it ended “Boss” Edward H. Crump's domination of Tennessee politics. As chairman of the Senate crime investigating committee in 1950 and 1951, Kefauver attracted nationwide publicity. Crime in America (1951) was Kefauver's own book on the results of this investigation. Reelected to the Senate in 1954, he won the Democratic party's nomination for Vice President in 1956, but, with Adlai Stevenson, was defeated in the Eisenhower landslide. A supporter of civil-rights legislation, Kefauver won (1960) reelection after overcoming the active opposition of a staunch segregationist in Tennessee's Democratic primary. He was a principal sponsor of a law enacted in 1962 to protect the public from harmful and ineffective pharmaceuticals.

See biography by J. B. Gorman (1971) and C. L. Fontenay (1980).

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