Thomas B. Curtis

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Thomas B. Curtis (Missouri Congressman)

Thomas Bradford Curtis (May 14, 1911 – January 10, 1993) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri.[1]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Curtis attended the public schools of Webster Groves, Missouri. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa, earning an A.B. in 1932. He was admitted to the bar in 1934 and commenced the practice of law in St. Louis. He received an LL.B. degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1935. He received an M.A. from Dartmouth in 1951, and a J.D. from Westminster College in 1964.

He served as member of the Board of Election Commissioners of St. Louis County in 1942. He served in the United States Navy from April 8, 1942, until discharged as a lieutenant commander December 21, 1945. He served as member of the Missouri State Board of Law Examiners in 1947–1950.

Curtis was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-second and to the eight succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1969).

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 originated in Curtis’ office in 1962, and it was mainly Republican pressure from Curtis and his fellow Republican Judiciary Committee member William McCulloch of Ohio that forced John F. Kennedy to make his first, hesitant message on civil rights in April 1963. Curtis’ defense of civil rights was rooted partly in the Lincoln tradition of the GOP, but more simply in the belief that civil rights were at the base of the American philosophy of government and Judeo-Christian morality and that their defense was “the most fundamental issue that confronts any government at any time,” as he wrote in 1952.[1]

He was not a candidate for reelection in 1968 to the House of Representatives but was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate, losing to Democrat Thomas Eagleton by a 51% to 49% margin.

Mr. Curtis was a noted economist, considered by most Republicans and some Democrats to be the most knowledgeable and insightful economist in Washington during his tenure as a Member of Congress.

He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention, 1964, 1976 and 1980. He served as vice president and general counsel, Encyclopædia Britannica, from 1969 to 1973. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1974, winning only 39% of the vote against incumbent Thomas Eagleton. He served as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 1972 to 1973. He served as chairman of the Federal Election Commission from April 1975 to May 1976. He was a consultant for the National Association of Technical and Trade Schools.

He was a resident of Pier Cove, Michigan, until his death in Allegan, Michigan, on January 10, 1993.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Onofrio, Jan (2001). Missouri Biographical Dictionary (3rd ed.). North American Book Dist LLC. pp. 187–188. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Raymond W. Karst
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 12th congressional district

1951–1953
Succeeded by
District dissolved
Preceded by
Morgan M. Moulder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 2nd congressional district

1953–1969
Succeeded by
James W. Symington