Joseph McCarthy

Wisconsin Politician

Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. He was noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere.… Read More

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1908 Birth McCarthy was born in 1908 in the Town of Grand Chute in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, and attended Marquette University, studying different subjects before deciding on law and earning an LL.B. from Marquette University Law School. … Read More


1928 19 Years Old …  Mindful of the anti-Catholic prejudice Al Smith faced during his 1928 campaign for that office, Joseph Kennedy supported McCarthy as a national Catholic politician who might pave the way for a younger Kennedy's presidential candidacy.


1930 21 Years Old McCarthy worked his way through college from 1930 to 1935, studying first engineering, then law, and receiving an LL.B. degree in 1935 from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.
1935 26 Years Old He was admitted to the bar in 1935.
1936 27 Years Old While working at a law firm in Shawano, Wisconsin, he launched an unsuccessful campaign for district attorney as a Democrat in 1936.


1939 - 1941 2 More Events
1942 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1942, shortly after the U.S. entered World War II, McCarthy was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps, despite the fact that his judicial office exempted him from compulsory service. … Read More
1944 35 Years Old McCarthy campaigned for the Republican Senate nomination in Wisconsin while still on active duty in 1944 but was defeated for the GOP nomination by Alexander Wiley, the incumbent.
1945 36 Years Old 1 More Event
He resigned his commission in April 1945, five months before the end of the Pacific war in September 1945.
1946 37 Years Old 1 More Event
He was then reelected unopposed to his circuit court position, and began a much more systematic campaign for the 1946 Republican Senate primary nomination, with support from Thomas Coleman, the Republican Party's political boss in Wisconsin. … Read More


In succeeding years after his 1950 speech, McCarthy made additional accusations of Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President Harry S. Truman, the Voice of America, and the United States Army. … Read More
1951 42 Years Old …  McCarthy made a lengthy speech on Marshall, later published in 1951 as a book titled America's Retreat From Victory: The Story of George Catlett Marshall. … Read More
McCarthy had refused to campaign for Kennedy's 1952 opponent, Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., due to his friendship with the Kennedys.
In 1953, McCarthy married Jean Kerr, a researcher in his office.
McCarthy subpoenaed Peress to appear before his subcommittee on January 30, 1954. … Read More
He and his wife adopted a baby girl, whom they named Tierney Elizabeth McCarthy, in January 1957.
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