Joseph Raymond McCARTHY, Congress, WI (1908-1957)

Senate Years of Service:

McCARTHY, Joseph Raymond, a Senator from Wisconsin; born in Grand Chute, Outagamie County, Wis., November 14, 1908; attended a one-room country school; worked on a farm; at the age of nineteen moved to Manawa, Wis., and enrolled in a high school; while working in a grocery store and ushering at a theater in the evenings, completed a four-year course in one year; graduated from Marquette University at Milwaukee, Wis., with a law degree in 1935; admitted to the bar the same year; commenced practice in Waupaca, and in 1936 moved to Shawano, Wis., and continued to practice law; elected circuit judge of the tenth judicial circuit of Wisconsin in 1939; while serving in this capacity enlisted in 1942 in the United States Marine Corps; resigned as a lieutenant in 1945; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for United States Senator in 1944 while in military service; reelected circuit judge of Wisconsin in 1945 while still in the Marine Corps; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1946; reelected in 1952 and served from January 3, 1947, until his death; co-chairman, Joint Committee on the Library (Eighty-third Congress), chairman, Committee on Government Operations (Eighty-third Congress); used his position as chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to launch investigations designed to document charges of Communists in government; censured by the Senate on December 2, 1954, for behavior that was “contrary to senatorial traditions”; died in the naval hospital at Bethesda, Md., May 2, 1957; funeral services were held in the Chamber of the United States Senate; interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Appleton, Wis.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law; Griffith, Robert. The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1970; Oshinsky, David. A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joseph McCarthy. New York: Free Press, 1983.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present