Estes Kefauver

American politician (1903–1963)

Carey Estes Kefauver (26 July 190310 August 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate from 1949 until his death in 1963.

Presidential ambition is a disease which can only be cured by embalming fluid.

After leading a much-publicized investigation into organized crime in the early 1950s, he twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States. In 1956, he was selected by the Democratic National Convention to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. He still held his U.S. Senate seat after the Stevenson–Kefauver ticket lost to the Eisenhower–Nixon ticket. Kefauver was named chair of the U.S. Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee in 1957 and served as its chairman until his death.


  • Liberalism means an intelligent effort to keep the political and economic development of our nation abreast of the responsibilities that come from an atomic age. It means an extension of the use of our resources for the common good, the solving of the problem of maintaining democratic principles and free competitive enterprise in a day of Big Business, Big Unions, and Big Government.
    • New Republic (June 22, 1946)
  • Local economic independence cannot be preserved in the face of consolidations such as we have had during the past few years. The control of American business is steadily being transferred, I am sorry to have to say, from local communities to a few large cities in which central managers decide the policies and the fate of the far-flung enterprises they control. Millions of people depend helplessly on their judgment. Through monopolistic mergers the people are losing power to direct their own economic welfare. When they lose the power to direct their economic welfare, they also lose the means to direct their political future.
    • Senate Hearing, 1947, reported in Michael J. Sandel, Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy (1998), p. 243.
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