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( => ( => ( => J. Howard McGrath [pageid] => 861330 ) =>
J. Howard McGrath
""J. Howard McGrath.jpg
60th "United States Attorney General
In office
August 23, 1949 – April 3, 1952
President "Harry S. Truman
Preceded by "Tom C. Clark
Succeeded by "James P. McGranery
"United States Senator
from "Rhode Island
In office
January 3, 1947 – August 23, 1949
Preceded by "Peter G. Gerry
Succeeded by "Edward L. Leahy
Chair of the "Democratic National Committee
In office
Preceded by "Robert E. Hannegan
Succeeded by "William M. Boyle
27th "Solicitor General of the United States
In office
Preceded by "Charles Fahy
Succeeded by "Philip Perlman
60th "Governor of Rhode Island
In office
January 7, 1941 – October 6, 1945
"Lieutenant Louis W. Cappelli
Preceded by "William Henry Vanderbilt III
Succeeded by "John O. Pastore
"United States Attorney for Rhode Island
In office
President "Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Henry M. Boss, Jr.
Succeeded by George F. Troy
Personal details
Born James Howard McGrath
(1903-11-28)November 28, 1903
"Woonsocket, Rhode Island, "U.S.
Died September 2, 1966(1966-09-02) (aged 62)
"Narragansett, Rhode Island
Resting place "St. Francis Cemetery, "Pawtucket, Rhode Island, "U.S.
Political party "Democratic
Spouse(s) Estelle Cadorette McGrath
Children James David "Mark" McGrath
"Alma mater "Providence College
"Boston University

James Howard McGrath (November 28, 1903 – September 2, 1966) was an "American politician and "attorney from the "U.S. state of "Rhode Island. McGrath, a "Democrat, served as "U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island before becoming "Governor, "U.S. Solicitor General, "U.S. Senator, chairman of the "Democratic National Committee, and "Attorney General of the United States.



Born in "Woonsocket, Rhode Island. McGrath was the son of James J. McGrath and the former Ida E. May. He graduated from the "La Salle Academy in 1922, attended "Providence College, and went to the "Boston University Law School in 1929. McGrath married Estelle A. Cadorette on November 28, 1929. They "adopted a son.

From 1930 to 1934, he was the "city solicitor of "Central Falls, Rhode Island. During this time he was also interested in the "real estate, "insurance, and "banking industries. He served as "United States Attorney for the District of "Rhode Island from 1934 to 1940.

Governor of Rhode Island[edit]

From 1941 until 1945, he was "Governor of Rhode Island, reorganizing the "juvenile court system while sponsoring a workers' compensation fund and a labor relations board, but he resigned in the middle of his third term to accept appointment as "Solicitor General of the United States (1945–1946). As Governor, McGrath presided over a limited-purpose state constitutional convention in 1944.[1] McGrath was elected as a "Democrat to the "United States Senate from Rhode Island in 1946 to join a Congress (the "Eightieth, 1947 to 1949), where the opposition "Republican Party had just replaced Democratic majorities in both houses. (See "United States elections, 1946.)

He was briefly chairman of the "U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia for the "81st Congress (to which the "1948 election had returned Democratic majorities). In the Senate, McGrath opposed reducing wartime economic controls and taxes, wishing to spend the latter instead on Social Security, national health insurance, and education.[2]

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee[edit]

McGrath (middle) with "Theodore Francis Green (middle left) and "Harry S. Truman (far right).

He was chairman of the "Democratic National Committee from 1947 to 1949. In managing President "Harry Truman's successful 1948 election campaign, McGrath alienated white Southerners but won over crucial black constituencies by integrating the Democratic national headquarters staff.[2]

Attorney General[edit]

Truman appointed Sen. McGrath "Attorney General of the United States on August 24, 1949. He resigned on April 3, 1952, after he had refused to cooperate in a corruption investigation initiated by his own department. Truman asked for and received McGrath's resignation.[3][4]

Alternative accounts have contradictorily suggested that after a meeting of the "Joint Chiefs of Staff at Truman's "Little White House" in Key West, the "Secretary of the Navy, along with other members, had threatened to resign if they, too, were forced to comply with Special Assistant Attorney General "Newbold Morris's request for the personal records of all those members who might have received gifts under the scope of the corruption investigation. Under pressure to follow through with the Justice Department corruption investigation, along with the threats of resignation, McGrath agreed that Morris's request was asking too much and that the best thing to do at that point was to clean up the department from that point forward and leave the past alone. Truman had been backed into a corner and the only way out was to ask for McGrath's resignation. This account was corroborated by a letter from Truman to McGrath, which hung in the hallway of McGrath's summer home from the "Narragansett, Rhode Island into up from a time of his death in 1966.

McGrath entered the private practice of law in "Washington, D.C. and Providence. In 1960, he was an unsuccessful candidate to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. "Theodore Francis Green (Democrat of Rhode Island), losing the Democratic primary (also contested by former Governor "Dennis J. Roberts) to "Claiborne Pell.

McGrath died of a "heart attack in "Narragansett, Rhode Island on September 2, 1966, at the age of 62. He was buried at the St. Francis Cemetery in "Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

There is a bust of Senator McGrath outside the House chamber in the "Rhode Island State House.


  1. ^ Records Relating to Constitutional Convention (1944), at the Rhode Island State Archives, "Rhode Island Secretary of State's Office (retrieved May 2, 2014):

    "...convention convened at the Rhode Island College of Education auditorium in Providence, March 28, 1944 for the purpose of amending the State constitution to eliminate voting registration requirements by members of the armed forces, merchant marines or persons absent from the state performing services connecting with military operations. Delegate continent totaled 200 with Governor J. Howard McGrath serving as president & William A. Needham of Providence as Secretary. Proposal put before the voters at a special election held April 11, 1944. Amendment passed with 7,122 voting for & 119 against."

  2. ^ a b "J. Howard McGrath" in West's Encyclopedia of American Law (1998)
  3. ^ Robert J. Donovan, Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1949-1953. Vol. 2 (1982) pp 372-81.
  4. ^ Marcus, Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power, 1977, p. 35-36.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
"William H. Vanderbilt
"Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
"John O. Pastore
"U.S. Senate
Preceded by
"Peter G. Gerry
"U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Rhode Island
Served alongside: "Theodore F. Green
Succeeded by
"Edward L. Leahy
Legal offices
Preceded by
"Charles H. Fahy
"Solicitor General
Succeeded by
"Philip B. Perlman
Preceded by
"Tom C. Clark
"U.S. Attorney General
Served under: "Harry S. Truman

Succeeded by
"James P. McGranery
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