Harold Rosen (politician)

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Harold E. Rosen (died May 7, 1989) was an American politician from Dedham, Massachusetts. He served in local politics and then six terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Republican from 1957 to 1969.[1][2][3]

Personal life[edit]

He was born in Boston but moved to Dedham as a child and was graduated from Dedham High School in 1923 and then from Boston University, where he ran track,[4] in 1928.[3] He was the co-owner of Rosen's Hardware in East Dedham 1927 to 1966 with his brother.[3][5] During World War II he served as a first lieutenant in the Army.[3] In 1986, he was given the Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, Dedham High School.[6]

Rosen was a member of the Dedham Rotary Club and The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves,[7] a commander of the Dedham American Legion Post 18, a director of the Dedham Chamber of Commerce, a director of Dedham Family Services, and a corporator of the Dedham Institution for Savings.[3][6] Rosen was Jewish.[8] Rosen was active in the Amateur Athletic Union, and helped organize races that brought Olympic athletes to the streets of Dedham.[9][10][11]

He died of heart failure at Milton Health Care Nursing Home in Milton, Massachusetts at the age of 82.[3] Rosen was buried in Knollwood Memorial Park in Canton, Massachusetts after a funeral led by Rabbi Henry Zoob of Temple Beth David in Westwood.[3] At his death he left behind a wife, Leila (née Bower), and a sister, Lena Howard of Hampton, N.H.

Political career[edit]

Local politics[edit]

First elected in 1938, he served a total of five terms totaling 15 years on the Dedham School Committee.[3][5] He lost an election in 1936,[12] but then won in 1938 by defeating an incumbent.[13] He also served three terms as a Commissioner of the Trust Funds later in life.[3][14] He was an active member of the Republican Party, being elected chairman of the Dedham Republican Town Committee in 1952.[3]

State politics[edit]

Rosen served six terms as a representative to the Great and General Court.[1][2][3] He was a delegate to the Republican State Convention ten times and served on the Republican State Committee.[3][15] He was regarded as being hard working and had a moderate to liberal record.[5]

While in the legislature he sponsored a bill to reform the Electoral College, which would have prevented him from later serving on it in later years, but the bill did not pass.[16] He also filed a bill to make the Endicott Estate the governor's mansion,[1][17] and to make it a crime to assault a reporter.[18] He opposed the creation of a 10-member Consumer Council to aid the governor and legislature in creating policy,[19] and the construction of a parking garage under the Boston Common.[20]

As a former track athlete, Rosen was a great supporter of the construction on an indoor track.[21] He filed the first bills in 1958 and 1962 calling for the Metropolitan District Commission to build what would eventually open as the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in 1995.[22][23]

Rosen also supported an amendment to a bill that would prevent any person named by the state or federal governments to be a Communist from sitting on an Advisory Committee on Racial Imbalance.[24] He was also a supporter of organ transplantation.[25] He was unaware when a constituent used another representative to introduce a bill, and got it passed by both houses, that would alter the procedures regarding Dedham's Town Meeting.[26]

Rosen proposed a Constitutional amendment to give the governor and other Constitutional Officers four-year, instead of two-year, terms.[27] Other constitutional amendments he filed would prohibit the General Court from considering matters other than budgets, items related to the administration of municipalities, special messages from the Governor, and other emergency items in the second year of their two-year session.[28][29][30]

He ran in 1968 for an open Senate seat, but lost in the primary.[5] He ran again in 1972,[31] but was unsuccessful.

National politics[edit]

Rosen was invited to President Eisenhower's first inauguration in 1953.[3] He was a leader of a slate of candidates, aligned with Governor John A. Volpe, who were not elected to attend to 1968 Republican National Convention,[32][33] but did eventually attend three times.[3] He supported Gerald Ford in the 1976 convention.[34]

In 1980, Rosen ran as an uncommitted delegate.[35] He was nominated from the floor and beat a candidate pledged to support Ronald Reagan in an election that was contested with allegations of fraudulent certification.[36] In the end, he supported Reagan at the convention.[37] Four years later, he had reservations about Reagan's performance as president, but supported him again at the 1984 convention.[38]

He chaired Massachusetts Senior Citizens for Reagan-Bush in 1980[3] and served as a member of the Massachusetts Electoral College in 1980 and 1984.[6][16]

Later career[edit]

After losing a race for the state Senate, Rosen applied for and received a state pension.[39][40] He then took a position with the Department of Commerce and Development.[39][40] Governor Francis W. Sargent vetoed a bill that would allow him to return to the pension system, but it was overridden by the General Court.[39][40] Rosen paid back what he previously received and was re-admitted to the system.[39][40]


  1. ^ a b c "On Beacon Hill: Legislative Group Approves Regulation of Armored Cars". The North Adams Transcript. North Adams, Massachusetts. June 6, 1967. p. 14. open access
  2. ^ a b "HAROLD ROSEN, 82; SERVED DEDHAM IN STATE HOUSE AND ON SCHOOL PANEL". The Boston Globe. May 9, 1989. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "HAROLD ROSEN, 82; SERVED DEDHAM IN STATE HOUSE AND ON SCHOOL PANEL". The Boston Globe. May 9, 1989. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  4. ^ "DEMAND PROBE OF B. U. ATHLETICS Former Athletes Call a Meeting for Tonight Football Conditions Cause Alumni to Question Conduct". The Daily Boston Globe. November 14, 1930. p. 33.
  5. ^ a b c d Liston, Carol (September 3, 1968). "3 Republicans Battling to Replace Retiring Sen. Cutler". The Boston Globe. p. 40.
  6. ^ a b c "Harold E. Rosen" (pdf). Dedham Public Schools.
  7. ^ "State Groups To Perform at World's Fair". The Boston Globe. September 13, 1964. p. 57.
  8. ^ "Brotherhood Cites State Officials Of Jewish Faith". Daily Boston Globe. November 2, 1959. p. 12.
  9. ^ "DORIS BRENNAN ENTERS PLYMOUTH SWIM MEET". The Daily Boston Globe. August 28, 1936. p. 26.
  10. ^ Nason, Jerry (July 17, 1937). "Dedham Run Tonight Features Kelley, Brown and Zamparelli". The Daily Boston Globe. p. 7.
  11. ^ "Andrew Zamparelli is to Defend His Title". The Daily Boston Globe. September 4, 1936. p. 29.
  12. ^ "DEDHAM". The Daily Boston Globe. March 4, 1936. p. 17.
  13. ^ "DEMOCRATS WIN IN TWO TOWNS Carry Most Offices in Watertown, Southbridge Estabrook Leads in Arlington—Higgins Victor in Braintree". The Daily Boston Globe. March 8, 1938. p. 3.
  14. ^ "Town Elections". The Boston Globe. March 19, 1979. p. 30.
  15. ^ "12 House Members Named to G.O.P. State Committee". The Daily Boston Globe. January 16, 1959. p. 24.
  16. ^ a b Trausch, Susan (October 18, 1984). "ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEMBERS:; UNKNOWN, IGNORED AND DELIGHTED TO HAVE THE JOB". The Boston Globe. p. 2 Metro.
  17. ^ "Bill Would Convert Estate to Governor's Mansion". The Boston Globe. April 6, 1967. p. 21.
  18. ^ "Stiff Penalty Asked For Assault on Working Newsmen". The Daily Boston Globe. February 17, 1958. p. 2.
  19. ^ "Consumers' Council Plan Given Committee OK". The Daily Boston Globe. February 17, 1959. p. 4.
  20. ^ "Common Garage Plan of Furcolo Passes 1st Test". The Daily Boston Globe. May 15, 1958. p. 4.
  21. ^ SINGELAIS, NEIL (July 19, 1967). "Volpe Approves Construction Of Indoor Schoolboy Track". The Boston Globe. p. 47.
  22. ^ "About Us". Roxbury Community College. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  23. ^ Reardon, Joe (January 28, 2015). "From the Cape to the Berkshires: Reggie is the Home of Mass Track and field". MileSplit Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  24. ^ Rollins, Bryant (August 7, 1965). "McCarthy Echo On Beacon Hill". The Boston Globe. p. 5.
  25. ^ "Hearing this AM on Body Bequests". The Boston Globe. March 14, 1967. p. 44.
  26. ^ "Sleeper Bill, Almost Law, Stirs Dedham". Daily Boston Globe. February 6, 1960. p. 1.
  27. ^ "Legislators Hear Pleas Today for 4-Year Terms". The Boston Globe. February 8, 1961. p. 4.
  28. ^ "Rep. Rosen Files Bill To Cut Length of Legislative Sessions". Daily Boston Globe. November 7, 1957. p. 12.
  29. ^ "Short Session Bill Filed—Again". The Boston Globe. November 17, 1960. p. 3.
  30. ^ "Legislature Meets in Joint Session On Constitution Changes Tomorrow". The Daily Boston Globe. May 12, 1959. p. 3.
  31. ^ "Schlosstein picks Senate over House". The Boston Globe. September 22, 1972. p. 20.
  32. ^ Leland, Timothy (May 2, 1968). "McCarthy Sure of 6 Delegates... Maybe 7". The Boston Globe. p. 6.
  33. ^ Liston, Carol (April 14, 1968). "GOP 'at war' in only 4 districts". The Boston Globe. p. 6A.
  34. ^ Taylor, Benjamin (August 15, 1976). "Bay State delegation weighted—28-15—to Ford". Boston Globe. p. 49.
  35. ^ Black, Chris (May 4, 1980). "STATE GOP PICKS PARTY DELEGATES". The Boston Globe. p. 1.
  36. ^ Healy, Robert (August 14, 1984). "BAY STATE DELEGATES CHALLENGED". The Boston Globe. p. 1.
  37. ^ Turner, Robert L. (July 14, 1980). "JOHN ANDERSON: PERSONA NON GRATA". The Boston Globe. p. 1.
  38. ^ Black, Chris (August 20, 1984). "MASSACHUSETTS MODERATES GO; WITH CONSERVATIVE GOP FLOW". The Boston Globe. p. 1.
  39. ^ a b c d "Democrats Hope to Adjourn Legislature in 2 or 3 Weeks". The Boston Globe. July 24, 1969. p. 23.
  40. ^ a b c d Michelson, A. (September 28, 1969). "Opponents Help Sargent Win Favor". The Boston Globe. p. 40.