@Political Leaders, Career and Family
Joseph McCarthy born at
He married Jean Kerr in 1953. The couple adopted a daughter in 1957.
His health deteriorated greatly after being censured. His failing health coupled with his alcoholism resulted in his death in 1957.
McCarthy was born to Timothy McCarthy and Bridget Tierney as one of their seven children. He was of mixed ancestry.
He dropped out of school when he was 14 to work on his parents’ farm.
He returned to school in 1929 at the age of 20 and graduated from Little Wolf High School.
He went to college to study engineering but soon switched to law. He received his law degree from Marquette University Law School in 1935.
He started working at the law firm of Michael Everlin in 1936. During this time, he also ran as a Democrat for district attorney, albeit, unsuccessfully.
Undaunted by his defeat, he launched a forceful campaign in 1939 to become District Circuit judge in Appleton and he was successful in his endeavor. He also started gambling to earn extra money.
As an attorney, he dispatched many of his cases with great speed and was quick to reduce the already accumulated backlog he had inherited upon taking the office. This created some controversy.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 after U.S. joined the World War II in spite of the fact that his status as a judge exempted him from compulsory duty.
He became a second lieutenant and served as an intelligence briefing officer for a dive bomber squadron. He reached the rank of captain by the time he left the Marine Corps. He made many false claims about his Marine stint to boost his political career.
The character of Senator John Iselin in the novel ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ by Richard Condon is based upon this politician.
Actor Peter Boyle portrayed this politician in the Emmy Award winning television movie ‘Tail Gunner Joe’ in 1977.