James Howard McGrath
(November 28 1903 –
September 2 1966)
was an American
politician and attorney from the U.S.
state of Rhode
McGrath, a Democrat
served as U.S. Attorney
for Rhode Island before
, U.S. Solicitor General
, chairman of the Democratic National Committee
and Attorney General of
the United States
was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He graduated from La Salle
Academy in 1922, from Providence College in 1926, and from Boston University in 1929. From 1930 to 1934 he was the city solicitor of Central Falls,
During this time he was also interested in
the real estate
, and banking
industries. He served as United States Attorney for the
District of Rhode
Island from 1934 to 1940.
From 1940 until 1945, he was Governor of Rhode Island
reorganizing the juvenile court
system while sponsoring a workers' compensation fund and a labor
relations board, but he resigned in the middle of his third term to
accept appointment as Solicitor General of the
McGrath was elected as a Democrat
to the United States Senate
from Rhode Island
in 1946, joining an 80th Congress
(1947-49) that had unaccustomed Republican majorities in both
houses. He was briefly chairman of the U.S.
Committee on the District of Columbia
for the 81st Congress
(to which the 1948 election had
returned Democratic majorities). In the Senate, McGrath opposed
reducing wartime economic controls and taxes, wishing to spend the
latter instead on Social Security, national health insurance and
He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee
from 1947 to 1949. In managing President Harry Truman
's successful 1948 election
campaign, McGrath alienated white Southerners but won over crucial
black constituencies by integrating the Democratic national
appointed Sen. McGrath Attorney General of the
on August 24
. He resigned on April 3
, after he had refused to cooperate in a
corruption investigation initiated by his own department. Truman
asked for and received McGrath's resignation.
entered the private practice of law in Washington, D.C., and Providence.
In 1960, he was an
unsuccessful candidate to succeed the retiring U.S. Sen. Theodore Francis Green
Rhode Island), losing the Democratic primary (also contested by
former Gov. Dennis J. Roberts
) to Claiborne Pell
died in Narragansett, Rhode Island, in 1966, aged 62, and is buried in St. Francis
- "J. Howard McGrath, Ex-Attorney General, Dies." New York
Times. September 3, 1966.
- Levieros, Anthony. "Upsets Come Fast; Resignation of McGrath
Follows Quickly His Ousting of Morris." New York Times.
April 4, 1952.
- Marcus, Maeva. Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The
Limits of Presidential Power. New York: Columbia University
Press, 1977. ISBN 0231041268