Endicott Peabody

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Endicott Peabody
Endicott Peabody Gov.jpg
62nd Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 7, 1965
LieutenantFrancis Bellotti
Preceded byJohn Volpe
Succeeded byJohn Volpe
Member of the
Massachusetts Governor's Council
for the 3rd district
In office
Preceded byDavid B. Williams
Succeeded byChristian A. Herter, Jr.
Personal details
Born( 1920 -02-15)February 15, 1920
Lawrence, Massachusetts
DiedDecember 2, 1997 ( 1997 -12-02) (aged 77)
Hollis, New Hampshire
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Barbara Welch Gibbons
(1944–1997; his death)
Alma materHarvard University
AwardsSilver Star
Presidential Unit Citation
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/warsWorld War II
*U.S. submarine campaign against the Japanese Empire

Endicott Peabody (February 15, 1920 – December 2, 1997) was an American politician from Massachusetts. A Democrat, he served a single two-year term as the 62nd Governor of Massachusetts, from 1963 to 1965.

Early life[edit]

Endicott Peabody, nicknamed "Chub", was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Elizabeth (née Parkman) and the Rev. Malcolm E. Peabody, a former Episcopal Bishop of Central New York. He was a grandson of the founder of Groton School and Brooks School, also named Endicott Peabody. He earned his A.B. from Harvard College in 1942. An All-America star defensive lineman for the Harvard Crimson football team, he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Peabody served in the United States Navy during World War II. He received the Silver Star for gallantry for service as a Lieutenant aboard the USS Tirante in the Pacific Ocean theater.[1][2]

After the war, Peabody attended Harvard Law School, receiving his J.D. degree and attaining admission to the Massachusetts bar in 1948. He was Assistant Regional Counsel for the Office of Price Stabilization and Regional Counsel for the Small Defense Plants Administration in the early 1950s. From 1954 to 1956 he served on the Massachusetts Governor's Council. During the 1960 presidential election, he coordinated John F. Kennedy's campaigns in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.[3]

In 1958, Peabody ran for Attorney General of Massachusetts, but lost in the Democratic primary to Edward McCormack, Jr. by nine percentage points.[4]

In 1960, Peabody ran for Governor of Massachusetts, but came in second (out of seven candidates) in the Democratic primary with 25.5% of the vote.[5]


In the 1962 gubernatorial election, Peabody was elected Governor of Massachusetts, upsetting the Republican incumbent Gov. John Volpe by only 4,431 votes out of over two million cast.

During his administration, voters approved a state constitutional amendment extending the terms of office of all state constitutional officers from two years to four years, starting from the next election. Peabody advocated laws to prevent discrimination in housing and to establish drug addiction treatment programs. He also strongly opposed capital punishment and "vowed that he would not sign a death warrant even for the Boston Strangler, if he were ever caught and convicted."[6]

On April 1, 1964, a front-page news story occurred when the governor's 72-year-old mother, Mary Parkman Peabody, was arrested at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida, for attempting to be served in an integrated group at a racially segregated restaurant, which made her a hero to the civil rights movement and brought the efforts in St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, to national and international attention. The story of her arrest has been told in many books, including one by her arrest companion, Hester Campbell, Four for Freedom.

Peabody is remembered for recommending the commutation of every death sentence that he reviewed while he served as governor between 1963 and 1965,[7] in connection with his efforts to get the legislature to abolish the death penalty.[8]

In 1964, Lt. Gov. Francis X. Bellotti defeated Peabody in the Democratic primary in September. In November, Bellotti subsequently lost the general election to Volpe, whom Peabody had defeated two years earlier.[3]


Senate campaign[edit]

In 1966, Peabody ran for United States Senator from Massachusetts, for which there was an open seat that year as a result of the retirement of incumbent Sen. Leverett Saltonstall; he won the Democratic nomination but was defeated by a landslide in the general election by the Republican nominee, the liberal state Attorney General Edward Brooke.

1972 vice presidential election[edit]

Peabody undertook a quixotic campaign for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1972;[9] he came in fourth in the balloting at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. He ran under the slogan "Endicott Peabody, the number one man for the number two job."

New Hampshire[edit]

In 1983, he moved to Hollis, New Hampshire, where he ran unsuccessfully for local and statewide political office several times, including running for U.S. Senator in 1986 against the Republican incumbent Sen. Warren Rudman.

In 1992, Peabody ran again for Vice President of the United States by competing in the New Hampshire vice-presidential primary, where he won with 59.7% of the vote. However, the primary is non-binding, and, at the prerogative of the presidential nominee, then-Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas, the vice-presidential nomination eventually went to then-Sen. Al Gore of Tennessee. Clinton and Gore subsequently won the general election.[10]

Also in 1992, Peabody ran for a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, but he came in third place with 20.7% of the vote.[11]

He died from leukemia in Hollis in 1997, aged 77. His remains were interred in Groton, Massachusetts.


Peabody was a descendant of the colonial Massachusetts governor John Endecott.

On June 24, 1944, he married Barbara Welch "Toni" Gibbons (1922–2012), a native of Bermuda, the elder daughter of Morris Gibbons, a member of the Parliament of Bermuda, and his wife, the former Maude Madge Welch. Peabody and his wife had a daughter, Barbara, and two sons, Robert and Endicott Jr.[12]

Peabody's sister, Marietta Peabody Tree, represented the United States on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[13]

Navy awards[edit]

Electoral history[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Endicott Peabody profile (1920–1997)
  4. ^ a b Our Campaigns – MA Attorney General- D Primary
  5. ^ Our Campaigns – MA Governor – D Primary Race – Sep 13, 1960
  6. ^ Gottschalk, Marie (March 16, 2011) Is Death Different?, The New Republic
  7. ^ Peabody's commutation of capital punishment sentences
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 30, 2005. Retrieved October 25, 2005. The last execution in Massachusetts state history occurred in 1947.
  9. ^ Molotsky, Irvin (December 4, 1997). "Endicott Peabody, 77, Dies; Governor of Massachusetts in 1960s". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Our Campaigns – US Vice President – D Primary Race – Feb 18, 1992
  11. ^ a b NH State House – Hillsborough 22
  12. ^ Marquard, Bryan (June 10, 2012). "Toni Peabody, 89; outspoken wife of governor's governor wife aided disabled; at 89". The Boston Globe.
  13. ^ Palumbo, Mary Jo (August 17, 1991). "Marietta Tree, at 74, longtime public servant". Boston Herald. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  14. ^ Our Campaigns – MA Governor – D Primary Race – Sep 13, 1960
  15. ^ Our Campaigns – MA Governor – D Primary
  16. ^ Our Campaigns – MA Governor Race – Nov 06, 1962
  17. ^ Our Campaigns – MA Governor – D Primary
  18. ^ Our Campaigns – MA US Senate – D Primary
  19. ^ Our Campaigns – MA US Senate Race – Nov 08, 1966
  20. ^ Our Campaigns – NH US Senate- D Primary Race – Sep 09, 1986
  21. ^ Our Campaigns – NH US Senate Race – Nov 04, 1986
  22. ^ Our Campaigns – US Vice President – D Primary Race – Feb 18, 1992

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John A. Volpe
Governor of Massachusetts
January 3, 1963 – January 7, 1965
Succeeded by
John A. Volpe
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joseph D. Ward
Democratic nominee for
Governor of Massachusetts

Succeeded by
Francis Bellotti
Preceded by
Thomas J. O'Connor
Democratic nominee for
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (Class 2)

Succeeded by
John Droney
Preceded by
John A. Durkin
Democratic nominee for
U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (Class 3)

Succeeded by
John Rauh