James M. Mead

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James Michael Mead
James Mead.jpg
United States Senator
from New York
In office
December 3, 1938 – January 3, 1947
Preceded by Royal S. Copeland
Succeeded by Irving M. Ives
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 42nd district
In office
March 4, 1919 – December 2, 1938
Preceded by William F. Waldow
Succeeded by Pius L. Schwert
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the Erie County, 4th district
In office
January 1, 1915 – December 31, 1918
Preceded by Patrick W. Quigley
Succeeded by Andrew T. Beasley
Personal details
Born (1885-12-27)December 27, 1885
Mount Morris, New York
Died March 15, 1964(1964-03-15) (aged 78)
Lakeland, Florida
Political party Democratic
Residence Buffalo, New York

James Michael Mead (December 27, 1885 – March 15, 1964) represented New York in the United States Senate from 1938 until 1947.

Biography[edit]

Born in Mount Morris, Livingston County, New York, Mead moved to Buffalo with his family at the age of four. He went to work at age 12, and was employed by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad; his career included jobs as a water boy, lamp lighter, section hand, spike mauler, shop mechanic and switchman. He also worked for the Pullman Company as a mechanic on sleep car dynamos. Mead was later employed as a switchman on the Erie Railroad, and was eventually elected president of the Switchmen's Union's Buffalo local. From 1911 to 1914 he was employed as an officer with the United States Capitol Police.

Mead also continued his education during his railroad and police careers; he attended Buffalo's Caton School of Engineering and completed an engineering course of instruction at the Buffalo Institute of Technology.[1] He also took courses at Canisius College and Catholic University.[2] While working nights for the Capitol Police, Mead attended the Georgetown University Law Center during the day.[3]

He served on the Erie County, New York Board of Supervisors (County Council) in 1914; and was a member of the New York State Assembly (Erie Co., 4th D.) in 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918.

In 1918, Mead defeated incumbent Republican congressman William Frederick Waldow for New York’s 42nd District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He held the seat from 1919 to 1938. Mead left the house after defeating Republican Edward F. Corsi in 1938 to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant after Royal S. Copeland died in office. He was re-elected in 1940, defeating two-term Republican Congressman Bruce Barton.

Mead was the Democratic candidate for Governor of New York in 1946, losing to Republican incumbent Thomas Dewey. After his defeat, Mead served on the Federal Trade Commission from 1949 to 1955.

Mead was a New York delegate to Democratic National Convention in every presidential election year from 1936 to 1952. In 1937, the Works Progress Administration built what would eventually become the James Mead Library in Senator Mead’s hometown of Buffalo.

Mead died in Lakeland, Florida and was buried at Oakhill Cemetery in Clermont, Florida.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Current Biography: Who's News and Why. New York, NY: H. W. Wilson Company. 1944. p. 458. 
  2. ^ World Biography. 2. New York, NY: Institute for Research in Biography. 1948. p. 3174. 
  3. ^ American Law School Review. 9–10. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company. 1938. p. 333. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Patrick W. Quigley
New York State Assembly
Erie County, 4th District

1915–1918
Succeeded by
Andrew Beasley
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William F. Waldow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 42nd congressional district

1919–1938
Succeeded by
Pius L. Schwert
Preceded by
Royal S. Copeland
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New York
1938–1947
Succeeded by
Irving M. Ives
Party political offices
Preceded by
John J. Bennett, Jr.
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New York
1946
Succeeded by
Walter A. Lynch