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Abraham A. Ribicoff
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U.S. Senator
    (April 9, 1910-February 22, 1998)
    Born in New Britain, Connecticut
    Represented Connecticut’s 1st District in Congress (1949-53)
    Governor of Connecticut (1955-61)
    Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1961-62)
    US Senator from Connecticut (1963-81)
    He was to first to suggest to JFK that he name his brother Attorney General.
    He said his one regret was resigning as governor to join the Kennedy cabinet.
    His speeches were riddled with clichés. ('Clichés are clichés because men in all generations have recognized the wisdom they contain.’)
    Although opposed to farm subsidies, he acceded to a request from tobacco-growing constituents by introducing a bill that would grant them Federal subsidies – and then fought to defeat the bill.
    He put himself though college and law school.
    When John F. Kennedy campaigned to be Adlai Stevenson’s running mate (1956) and several Catholic politicians objected that the country was not ready for a Catholic on the ticket, he observed, ‘I never thought I’d see the day when a man of the Jewish faith had to plead before a group of Irish Catholics about allowing another Irish Catholic to be nominated for the position.’
    During the 1968 Democratic convention, he went off-script to complain about ‘Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.’
    Chicago Mayor Richard Daley responded by yelling, ‘Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch.’
    He said his favorite political memory was not a piece of legislation but the reaction of the people of Connecticut during a 1955 flood: ‘Everyone pitched in. Connecticut came together.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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