Edward A. McCabe

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Edward Aenas McCabe (March 4, 1917 – October 4, 2008) was an attorney, a political staffer in the Eisenhower administration, and the founding chairman of the student loans organization Sallie Mae.[1]


McCabe joined the White House staff on January 16, 1956 as an Associate Special Counsel to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[2][3] He had previously served as General Counsel to the House Committee on Education and Labor from 1953 up to his appointment to the White House staff. He served in the Special Counsel’s office until September 10, 1958 when he assumed the position of Administrative Assistant to the President. He, with the other members of the legislative liaison office, worked to advance the Administration’s legislative programs with the United States Congress.[4]

After leaving the White House staff, he was made Research Director for Barry Goldwater in 1963, writing speeches for him,[5] and he became Research Director for the Republican Party in 1964.[6]


He earned a degree from the Columbus School of Law.[1] He returned to law in 1964 after Goldwater was defeated in the Presidential race.[7]

Education funding and access[edit]

He chaired Sallie Mae from 1972-78, sat on the USA Funds board from '78-96, returned to Sallie Mae to be chair again from '81-90, and was a director of the USA Group from '93-00. He founded the Lumina Foundation for Education in 2000 and chaired it till 2003, then was a board member till 2006.[1]

Personal life[edit]

McCabe was born in Ballybay, Ireland and moved to Philadelphia in 1928 when he was still a boy. He lived in Bethesda, Maryland.

McCabe was married twice, to Janet for 30 years to 1981 when she died, and then to Verna for 21 years until his death. He died aged 91 after suffering from dementia. He had four children and 17 grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Patricia Sullivan. Edward McCabe, 91; Headed Sallie Mae. Washington Post, 7 October 2008.
  2. ^ Federal Records Division, National Archives and Records Administration. United States Government Organization Manual, 1957 – 1958. Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office. 1957 -1958. p. 58
  3. ^ PRESIDENT NAMES AIDE; Edward A. McCabe Will Be Law Adviser to President. The New York Times, 12 January 1956
  4. ^ President Picks Two More Aides, Promotes Two. Associated Press. 11 September 1958.
  5. ^ Goldwater Names Research Director. St. Petersburg Times, 24 October 1963.
  6. ^ Goldwater People Are in Charge. The Spokesman-Review, 24 September 1964.
  7. ^ Evans and Novak. More Dollars Than Votes. The Telegraph-Herald 12 November 1964.

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