- Kefauver, (Cary) Estes
- (1903-1963)Born in Madisonville, Tennessee, Estes Kefauver graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1924 and qualified as a lawyer at Yale in 1927. He practiced law in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1939 following the death of the incumbent. He served five terms and generally supported the New Deal, particularly the Tennessee Valley Authority. Kefauver was elected to the Senate in 1948, and in 1950 he achieved national prominence as chair of the Senate investigation into organized crime, whose hearings were sometimes televised. Hearings were also held in major cities across the country in 1950 and 1951. The committee concluded that organized crime in the shape of the “Mafia” was dominated by two “families,” one in Chicago and the other in New York City, both headed by Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Kefauver’s book, Crime in America (1951), was a best seller.Kefauver decided to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 but was defeated by Adlai Stevenson, who beat him again four years later. Stevenson chose Kefauver as his running mate in 1956, but they were defeated by the partnership of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. Kefauver returned to the Senate, where although he was not a supporter of integration, he was regarded as the most liberal southern voice. He was reelected in 1960 and died half way through his term.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.