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  Ribicoff, Abraham A.
NameAbraham A. Ribicoff
Hartford, Connecticut , United States
Born April 09, 1910
DiedFebruary 22, 1998 (87 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 04, 2015 10:20pm
Tags Jewish - Polish - Very Liberal - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Internationalist - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Environment - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Labor - Married - Widowed - Judaism -
InfoAbraham Ribicoff was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on 9th April, 1910. Ribicoff's parents were Jewish parents from Poland.

Ribicoff obtained degrees from New York University and the University of Chicago in 1933. Ribicoff, a member of the Democratic Party, served two terms as a representative to the Connecticut House of Representatives (1938-1942). He also served two terms as a police court judge in Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1948 Ribicoff was elected to the US House of Representatives. Although he was defeated in his 1952 bid for the US Senate, he was elected Governor of Connecticut and served two terms (1955-61).

Ribicoff was a supporter of John F. Kennedy and in 1961 was appointed as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. In this post he advocated programs such as Medicare, Youth Fitness and Equal Employment Opportunity. A few months after resigning from the Cabinet in 1962, he was elected to the Senate, and then reelected in 1968 and 1974. In the Senate, Ribicoff promoted consumer protection legislation, pollution controls and aid to cities.

Ribicoff was concerned by corruption in Congress. For example, the Suite 8F Group also did very well out of the escalation of the Vietnam War. They formed a new company called RMK-BRJ to obtain these contracts. This included Halliburton who took over Brown & Root in 1962. These contracts included building jet runways, dredging channels for ships, hospitals, prisons, communications facilities, and building American bases from Da Nang to Saigon. RMK-BRJ did 97% of the construction work in Vietnam. The other 3% went to local Vietnamese contractors. Between 1965 and 1972 Brown & Root (Halliburton) alone obtained revenues of $380 million from its work in Vietnam. Ribicoff attempted to expose this scandal. He claimed that millions was being paid in kickbacks. An investigation by the General Accounting Office discovered that by 1967 RMK-BRJ had “lost” $120 million. However, GAO never managed to identify the people obtaining these kickbacks.

While in the Senate he served on the committees on Government Operations and on Governmental Affairs. In 1968 Ribicoff created great controversy by accusing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley of using "Gestapo" tactics at the Democratic National Convention. An opponent of the Vietnam War, Ribicoff supported George McGovern during his presidential campaign.

In 1981, Ribicoff retired from the Senate and took a position as special counsel to the New York law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler.

Abraham Ribicoff died in New York City on 22nd February, 1998 and was interned at Cornwall Cemetery, Connecticut.



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Abraham Ribicoff - Speech Nominating George McGovern for the U.S. Presidency  Discuss
  11/05/1974 CT US Senate Won 63.67% (+29.38%)
  07/13/1972 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.07% (-59.00%)
  11/05/1968 CT US Senate Won 54.29% (+8.59%)
  07/29/1968 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.08% (-73.93%)
  11/06/1962 CT US Senate Won 51.25% (+2.51%)
  01/20/1961 Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/04/1958 CT Governor Won 62.29% (+25.28%)
  11/02/1954 CT Governor Won 49.49% (+0.33%)
  11/04/1952 CT US Senate - Special Lost 48.52% (-2.65%)
  11/07/1950 CT District 1 Won 58.10% (+16.45%)
  11/02/1948 CT District 1 Won 54.69% (+10.49%)
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 17, 1975 R John Paul Stevens
US President - D Primaries - Jun 06, 1972 D George S. McGovern
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 15, 1971 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 09, 1971 D Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - May 17, 1970 R Harry Blackmun
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Apr 08, 1970 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Nov 21, 1969 NPA Reject
US President - D Convention - Aug 29, 1968 D George S. McGovern
US President - D Primaries - Jun 11, 1968 D Robert Francis Kennedy
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Aug 30, 1967 D Thurgood Marshall