Tom Connally

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Tom Connally
United States Senator
from Texas
In office
March 4, 1929 – January 3, 1953
Preceded by Earle B. Mayfield
Succeeded by Price Daniel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1917 – March 3, 1929
Preceded by Robert L. Henry
Succeeded by Oliver H. Cross
Personal details
Born Thomas Terry Connally
(1877-08-19)August 19, 1877
Eddy, Falls County
Texas, USA
Died October 28, 1963(1963-10-28) (aged 86)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) (1) Louise Clarkson Connally (died 1935)

(2) Lucile Sanderson Sheppard Connally

Alma mater Baylor University

Thomas Terry "Tom" Connally (August 19, 1877 – October 28, 1963) was an American politician, who represented Texas in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, as a member of the Democratic Party. He served in the US House of Representatives from 1917 – 1928, and the U.S. Senate from 1929 – 1953.

Early life and education[edit]

His family home still stands and has a Texas State Historical Survey Committee marker on the front of the house.

Connally studied at Baylor University, and according to the Baylor Alumni Directory, 1917,[1] earned his A.B. in 1896. He later attended the University of Texas School of Law, earning his LL.B. in 1898.[1] While there, Connally was a close friend of future Governor of Texas Pat Neff and future United States Senator Morris Sheppard.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Connally's first wife was Cincinnati Conservatory trained vocalist Louise Clarkson of Marlin, Texas, who died in her husband's Senate office of a sudden heart attack in 1935. Their son was Houston attorney Ben Clarkson Connally, a U.S. district judge. Connally was a widower when he married the former Lucile Sanderson, the widow of the other Texas senator, Morris Sheppard of Texarkana.[3]


Connally was the step-grandfather of Lucile's grandson, Connie Mack, III, a Republican U.S. Senator from Florida (1989–2001), and the step-great-grandfather of Mack's son, Connie Mack, IV, former U.S. Representative from Florida.

He was the first cousin twice removed of Governor John B. Connally, Jr..

Professional accomplishments[edit]

Connally (next to Roosevelt) holding a watch to fix the exact time of the declaration of War against Germany (3:05 PM E.S.T. on 11 December 1941)

The Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935 bears his name. The bill attempted to circumvent the Supreme Court of the United States' rejection of a key part of New Deal legislation.

As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was instrumental in the ratification of the treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[citation needed] He was also a member and vice-chairman to the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945 that chartered the United Nations.

A confidential 1943 analysis of the Foreign Relations Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office stated of Connally:[4]

a very typical, exuberant Southern figure with the appearance and mannerisms of an old-fashioned actor and a gay and hearty manner which conceals lack both of strength and of clear public principles. He is normally the spokesman of the Administration and, in particular, of the Department of State. His voting record is that of a straight interventionist. His principal point of deviation from Mr. [Cordell] Hull's policies is the subject to which Mr. Hull has dedicated a large portion of his life, namely, the policy of reciprocal trade. Representing as he does, a great cattle breeding State, his enthusiasm for free trade with, e.g., the Argentine, is not ardent. He has been a solid supporter of the department's policies toward, e.g., France and North Africa. His support of its economic policies is regarded as doubtful. On internal issues he shares all the beliefs and prejudices of the South.

Connally was the author of the noted "Connally Reservation," which amended the U.S. ratification of the U.N. charter to bar the International Court of Justice from having jurisdiction over domestic matters '"as determined by the United States"'. The self-defining proviso was and is seen as something of a repudiation of the authority of the world court. From an American perspective, the proviso would protect the U.S. against potential overreach by the international group.[citation needed]

On October 20, 1951, when General Mark Wayne Clark was nominated by President Harry Truman to be the U.S. emissary to the Holy See, Connally protested against the decision along with other Protestant groups and Clark later withdrew his nomination on January 13, 1952.[citation needed]


Connally died on October 28, 1963. He is buried in Marlin, Texas next to his first wife in Calvary Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Blodgett, Dorothy, Terrell Blodgett, and David L. Scott (2007). The Land, the Law, and the Lord: The Life of Pat Neff. Home Place Publishers Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-9761152-2-9. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943". Wisconsin Magazine of History 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. 

My Name is Tom Connally as told to Alfred Steinberg 1954 Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sam Little
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 72 (Marlin)

Succeeded by
John W. Stollenwerck, Sr.
Samuel R. Boyd
Preceded by
Abram Cole
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 69 (Marlin)

along with: J. S. Ainsworth(1)
Succeeded by
Austin Milton Kennedy
W. C. O'Bryan
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert L. Henry
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Oliver H. Cross
United States Senate
Preceded by
Earle Bradford Mayfield
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas
Served alongside: Morris Sheppard, Andrew Jackson Houston, W. Lee O'Daniel, Lyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded by
Price Daniel
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter F. George
Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Succeeded by
Arthur H. Vandenberg
Preceded by
Arthur H. Vandenberg
Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Succeeded by
Alexander Wiley
Notes and references
1. For the 27th Legislature, District 69 was a multi-member district.