Paul F. Markham

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Paul F. Markham
United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts
In office
Preceded byWendell Arthur Garrity Jr.
Succeeded byHerbert F. Travers, Jr.
Personal details
Bornc. 1931 (age 87–88)[1]
Alma materVillanova University
Boston University School of Law

Paul F. Markham (born c. 1931) is an American attorney who served as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1966 to 1969.

Early life[edit]

Markham attended Georgetown Preparatory School, Villanova University, and Boston University School of Law.[2][3] He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1958.[2] He worked at the personal injury firm of Badger, Parrish before joining the Small Business Administration.[3]

United States Attorney's office[edit]

In 1963, Markham was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. When Wendell Arthur Garrity Jr. accepted a judgeship on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 1966, Markham succeeded him as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He remained a U.S. Attorney until 1969 when he resigned to work in private practice.[3]

Chappaquiddick incident[edit]

Markham was present on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, on the night leading up to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. According to the testimony of Ted Kennedy, after the accident, he, Markham, and Joseph Gargan returned to the waterway to try to rescue Kopechne.[4] Markham testified that Kennedy was sobbing and on the verge of becoming crazed.[5] The next day Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a "heated conversation" over the fact that Kennedy had not reported the accident.[6]

In an October 15, 1994 interview for Ronald Kessler’s book The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded, Gargan said that when he and Markham returned to the scene of the accident with Kennedy, they both urged Kennedy to report the accident to the police. Gargan told Kessler, a former Washington Post reporter. "The conversation was brief about having to report," Gargan told Kessler for the book. "I was insistent on it. Paul Markham was backing me up on it. Ted said, `Okay, okay, Joey, okay. I've got the point, I've got the point.' Then he took a few steps and dove into the water, leaving Markham and I expecting that he would carry out the conversation." But Kennedy did not report the matter to the police until later in the morning, Kessler’s book notes.[7]

After Kopechne's body was discovered, Kennedy dictated a statement to Markham which was then given to the police.[6]

He was portrayed by Jim Gaffigan in the 2017 film of the same name.


  1. ^ Kennedy Friend Withdraws Candidacy for Judgeship; Left Party With Aide Refused to Discuss Meeting
  2. ^ a b "Paul F. Markham". LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Hersh, Burton (2010). Edward Kennedy: An Intimate Biography. Berkeley, California: Counterpoint Press. pp. 349–350. ISBN 9781582436289.
  4. ^ Bly, Nellie (1996). The Kennedy Men: Three Generations of Sex, Scandal, and Secrets. New York: Kensington Books. ISBN 1-57566-106-3.
  5. ^ Boyle, James (1970). Inquest into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Edgartown, MA: Edgartown District Court.
  6. ^ a b Damore, Leo (1989). Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-up. New York: Dell Publishing. ISBN 0-440-20416-X.
  7. ^ Kessler, Ronald, The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded, Warner Books, 1996, page 419.