John Dowdy

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John Dowdy
John Dowdy.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byJack Brooks
Succeeded byCharlie Wilson
Constituency2nd district
In office
September 23, 1952 – January 3, 1967
Preceded byTom Pickett
Succeeded byGeorge H. W. Bush
Constituency7th district
Personal details
Born(1912-02-11)February 11, 1912
Waco, Texas
DiedApril 12, 1995(1995-04-12) (aged 83)
Athens, Texas
Political partyDemocratic
Dowdy's former residence in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

John Vernard Dowdy (February 11, 1912 – April 12, 1995)[1] was an American politician. Dowdy was a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas from 1952 to 1967 and then served as a congressman from the 2nd District of Texas until 1973, when he decided to retire under indictment for bribery. During his political campaigns his commercials featured the tune "Are You From Dixie" but with the words "Are you for Dowdy, John Dowdy, We'll I'm for Dowdy, too!".

According to prosecutors, he accepted a $25,000 bribe to intervene in the federal investigation of Monarch Construction Company of Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1971, Dowdy was convicted on eight counts: two of conspiracy, one of transporting a bribe over state lines, and five of perjury.[2] In 1973, after Dowdy retired from Congress, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, overturned the bribery and conspiracy convictions. Dowdy still served a sentence in prison for perjury.[3][4]

Dowdy was one of four U.S. Congressmen from Texas to originally sign the "Southern Manifesto," a resolution in protest of the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.[5]

Right-wing groups rallied to his defense, including the Washington Observer and the Liberty Lobby, which contended Dowdy was the victim of a "vicious frame-up by the Justice Department in collaboration with a clique of housing racketeers." The ulterior motive, according to the newspaper, was to stop Dowdy's subcommittee investigation of the fraud at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.[6]

Dowdy was born in Waco, Texas, and lived in Texas for most of his life. He was a lawyer before entering politics. He died in Athens, Texas.

Committee assignments[edit]

  • 83rd Congress — Post Office and Civil Service.
  • 84th Congress — Post Office and Civil Service, House Administration.
  • 85th through 92nd Congresses — Judiciary, District of Columbia Subcommittee.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Biographical Directory of Congress". Retrieved 2006-10-23.
  2. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (1972-01-10). ", January 10, 1972, "Trials:Congressman Convicted"". Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "Southern Manifesto on Integration (March 12, 1956)". WNET. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Washington Observer, April 15, 1973.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Pickett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by
Jack Brooks
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Charlie Wilson