Benjamin A. Smith II
|Benjamin Atwood Smith II|
|United States Senator
December 27, 1960 – November 6, 1962
|Appointed by||Foster Furcolo|
|Preceded by||John F. Kennedy|
|Succeeded by||Ted Kennedy|
|Mayor of Gloucester, Massachusetts|
|Preceded by||Joseph J. Grillo|
|Succeeded by||Beatrice Corliss|
March 26, 1916|
|Died||September 6, 1991
|Resting place||Calvary Cemetery, Gloucester.|
|Spouse(s)||Barbara M. Mecham|
|Children||R. Russell II, Benjamin A. "Punky" III, Barbara S. Ramsey, Susan S. Crotty, and Cathleen Smith.|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Awards||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1941-1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Family and education
Smith, who was named for his grandfather Benjamin A. Smith, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts to R. Russell and Grace Smith. He married Barbara M. (Mechem) of Lake Forest, Illinois and Annisquam, Mass. They had five children, sons, R. Russell Smith 2d and Benjamin A. Smith 3d, an ice hockey player and coach, and daughters, Barbara (Smith) Ramsey, Susan (Smith) Crotty, and Cathleen Smith.
Smith attended the Gloucester public schools. Smith was captain of the 1933 Gloucester High School football team under coach Nate Ross. He later graduated from Governor Dummer Academy and Harvard University. While at Harvard, Smith played fullback on the football team under coach Dick Harlow. At Harvard, Smith was a roommate of John F. Kennedy.
Smith served as a member of the Gloucester School Committee, the Gloucester City Council and was a trustee of the Addison Gilbert Hospital. Smith served as Mayor of Gloucester from 1954 to 1955; however, at the time Smith was mayor, Gloucester had a Plan E form of government. The office of mayor was a ceremonial position, the mayor was a city councilor chosen by that body and the actual city administration was carried out by a professional city manager.
For many years Smith was the chief executive of his family's business, the Merchants Box Company in Gloucester.
John F. Kennedy resigned from the Senate on December 22, 1960, after he was elected President of the United States. Kennedy, who had been reelected to a second Senate term of six years in 1958, advised Gov. Foster Furcolo of Massachusetts to appoint Smith to fill the vacated seat "in the interest of promoting party unity." Critics said Smith, a close friend of the Kennedy family, was intended all along to simply be a "seat-warmer" until the President-elect's brother Edward M. Kennedy turned thirty (the minimum age provided by the U.S. Constitution for eligibility to serve in the Senate). Smith served as Senator until November 6, 1962, when Edward Kennedy, his duly elected successor, was chosen in a special election.
Death and burial
Smith died after a long illness in the Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester and was buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Gloucester.
- "Benjamin Smith, 75, U.S. Senator in 1960's". The New York Times. September 28, 1991. p. 27, § 1, New York ed. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- "Benjamin A. Smith II, adviser to Kennedys, 75". The Boston Herald. September 28, 1991. p. 35.
- "Benjamin Atwood Smith 2d, at 75; former senator, Kennedys' adviser". The Boston Globe. September 27, 1991. p. 23.
- Cass, Judith (August 14, 1939). "Barbara Mechem's Engagement to New Englander Announced". The Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 13.
- "The Presidency: Amid Affairs of State". Time. May 17, 1963. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- "Deaths; Benjamin A. Smith II". The Washington Post. September 28, 1991. p. B4.
- United States Congress. "Benjamin A. Smith II (id: S000517)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-01-23
- "Benjamin A. Smith II". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
|United States Senate|
John F. Kennedy
|U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Massachusetts
Served alongside: Leverett Saltonstall
Edward M. Kennedy
Joseph J. Grillo
|Mayor of Gloucester, Massachusetts
||Member of the