William Moore McCulloch
|William Moore McCulloch|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 4th district
November 4, 1947 – January 3, 1973
|Preceded by||Robert Franklin Jones|
|Succeeded by||Tennyson Guyer|
November 24, 1901|
|Died||February 22, 1980
|Political party||Republican Party|
|Alma mater||College of Wooster
Ohio State University
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William M. McCulloch was born near Holmesville, Ohio. He attended the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. He graduated from the college of law of Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio, in 1925. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Piqua, Ohio. He was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1933 to 1944, serving as minority leader from 1936 to 1939 and as speaker from 1939 to 1944. He served in the United States Army from December 26, 1943, to October 12, 1945.
McCulloch was elected as a Republican to the Eightieth Congress, by special election, November 4, 1947, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert Franklin Jones. He was reelected to the twelve succeeding Congresses.
Fight for Civil Rights
As the ranking member of the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, William McCulloch took a leading role in the civil rights movement. He introduced Civil Rights legislation months before Kennedy presented his act to congress. This was not only politically imprudent, but some considered it to be political suicide. Representative McCulloch had a small number of African-American constituents, and thus few votes to gain from introducing or supporting civil rights legislation. Regardless of the possible political ramifications, Representative McCulloch fought to repair an unjust system.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a path to justice for a nation that had allowed injustice for so long. It was his political and moral guidance that quelled anti-civil rights sentiments from members of the committee. McCulloch’s influence with the 1964 Civil Rights Act led President Kennedy to declare “Without him it can’t be done.”
Congressman William McCulloch never shirked from responsibility. In fact, he rose to become recognized by President Johnson as “…the most important and powerful political force” in passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Throughout his career, McCulloch was a conservative (demonstrated by low Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) scores) and a strong supporter of civil rights. As ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, he, with Democratic Chairman Emanuel Celler, pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through the House of Representatives. During the Great Society Congress, although he supported Johnson's civil rights programs, he opposed most Great Society legislation. After the Great Society Congress (1965–1966), he began to adopt a few liberal positions, such as favoring strong gun control legislation in 1968 and support for busing. He was not a candidate for reelection in the 1972 election to the Ninety-third Congress. He resumed the practice of law in Piqua, Ohio, and died in Washington, D.C., on February 22, 1980. Interment in Arlington National Cemetery.
- William Moore McCulloch at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- The Political Graveyard