Blair Moody

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Arthur Edson Blair Moody
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
April 23, 1951 – November 4, 1952
Appointed byG. Mennen Williams
Preceded byArthur H. Vandenberg
Succeeded byCharles E. Potter
Personal details
Born(1902-02-13)February 13, 1902
New Haven, Connecticut
DiedJuly 20, 1954(1954-07-20) (aged 52)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary Ann Moody
Ruth Moody
Alma materBrown University
University of Michigan

Arthur Edson Blair Moody (February 13, 1902 – July 20, 1954), known as Blair Moody, was a journalist and Democratic U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan.

Early life[edit]

Moody was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Arthur Edson Blair Moody and Julia Downey Moody.[1] and attended the public schools in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1922.[1] Moody attended the University of Michigan; he received his A.B. degree in 1949, and his LL.B. degree in 1952.[citation needed] He was an instructor in history at the Moses Brown School, a preparatory school in Providence, in 1922-23.[1]

A solid athlete, Moody lettered in football, baseball and track at Brown. He also was the heavyweight boxing champion at Brown at one time. He was offered a contract by the professional baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals to pitch, but declined.[citation needed]

Moody moved to Detroit, Michigan and worked from 1923 to 1951 as a reporter covering Washington, D.C.,[1] for the Detroit News,[2] a newspaper owned by his uncle, William Scripps. He was a correspondent for Barron's Financial Weekly from 1934 to 1948 and wrote for the North American Newspaper Alliance and the Bell Syndicate.[2]

In 1941, Moody authored Boom or Bust, a book charting his post-World War II vision for American democracy. His focus was on transitioning to full employment, reducing the national debt, and identifying a strategy for "how the national budget may actually be balanced."[3]

Moody was a combat war correspondent in 1944, covering the war in Italy, Africa, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and Iran. He moderated a radio and television program Meet Your Congress from 1946 to 1952. He was a foreign correspondent during 1947-1948.[2]

Government service[edit]

Following the death of U.S. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, Moody was appointed by Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams on April 22, 1951, as a Democrat to the United States Senate. He served from April 23, 1951, to November 4, 1952. Moody was appointed to the Senate Banking and Currency Committee and the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. In July 1951, he was appointed to chair a subcommittee of Senate Small Business Committee, established to "protect the interests of small business in the defense program."[4] The committee's purview included the perceived problem of steel cutbacks and unemployment in the auto industry. Moody also is remembered for his proposal for presidential debates, an idea that did not take hold until the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon televised debates.[5] An unsuccessful candidate for election in 1952 (to the remainder of the unexpired Senate term), Moody lost to Republican Charles E. Potter in the Dwight D. Eisenhower presidential landslide.[1]

Later years[edit]

Moody resumed his newspaper and television career as the host and moderator of the "Meet Your Congress" television show.[2]

He died in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for the other U.S. Senate seat from Michigan, of a heart attack following complications of viral pneumonia.[1] Blair Moody was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.[6]


Moody's father Arthur Blair Moody[7] was the son of Mary Blair Moody.[8]

Blair Moody married his first wife Mary Ann in 1930 and they had a son, Blair Jr. They were divorced in 1940 and Blair Sr. married his second wife, Ruth in 1941; the marriage lasted until his death in 1954. From 1946 until 1954, Blair Moody is reported to have had an affair with Helen Knowland, the wife of his friend Republican Senator William Knowland. William Knowland is said to have later begun an affair with Ruth Moody.[9][10]

Blair Moody, Jr., was a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge, and a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Blair and Ruth Moody had two sons, Christopher and Robin. Christopher S. Moody was founder and President of Moody & Associates, Inc., a nationwide insurance firm. Robert O. (Robin) Moody is the founder and President of Daedalus Books, the oldest independent bargain book wholesaler in America, established in 1980.[11]

An elementary school in Taylor, Michigan, was named for Senator Blair Moody. The school is in its original location with its original name and continues to educate students. A second elementary school was built adjacent to it in the 1960s.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "(Arthur Edson) Blair Moody". Dictionary of American Biography. Biography In Context. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1977. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d United States Congress. "Blair Moody (id: M000878)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Moody, Blair (1941). Boom or Bust (1st ed.). New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce. pp. 334–335.
  4. ^ Bordin, Ruth. "Finding Aid for Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954". Michigan Historical Collections - University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  5. ^ Montgomery, Gayle; Johnson, James (1998). One Step From the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 225.
  6. ^ Blair Moody at Find a Grave
  7. ^ "Arthur Blair Moody". Detroit Free Press. March 10, 1936. p. 22. Retrieved August 8, 2018 – via Arthur Blair Moody, of 2688 Lawrence Ave., Insurance man here and father of Blair Moody, Washington correspondent of The Detroit News, died Monday noon at Harper Hospital.
  8. ^ "Arthur Edson Blair Moody, Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952". March 9, 1936. Retrieved August 8, 2018 – via FamilySearch. Name: Arthur Edson Blair Moody...Birth Date: 06 Jul 1871, Birthplace: Buffalo, New York...Father's Name: Lucius W. Moody, Mother's Name: Mary Blair
  9. ^ Gould, Lewis L., The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate, p. 182, Basic Books, 2005. ISBN 0-465-02778-4
  10. ^ Montgomery, Gayle B. and James W. Johnson, One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland, Chapter 23 "The Private Man", Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 1998. ISBN 0-520-21194-4
  11. ^ Rosen, Judith (October 28, 2013). "Finding New Ways to Grow in Bargain Books". Publishers Weekly. 260 (43): n/a.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Arthur H. Vandenberg
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Michigan
Succeeded by
Charles E. Potter