John A. Volpe

John A. Volpe

Infobox Officeholder
name =John Anthony Volpe

imagesize =82px

caption =
order =2nd
office =United States Secretary of Transportation
term_start =January 22, 1969
term_end =February 1, 1973
president =Richard Nixon
predecessor =Alan S. Boyd
successor =Claude Brinegar
order2 =61st & 63rd
office2 =Governor of Massachusetts
term_start2 =January 5, 1961
term_end2 =January 3, 1963
January 7, 1965January 22, 1969
lieutenant2 =Edward F. McLaughlin, Jr.
Elliot Richardson
Francis W. Sargent
predecessor2 =Foster Furcolo
Endicott Peabody
successor2 =Endicott Peabody
Francis W. Sargent
order3 =United States Ambassador to Italy
term_start3 =March 6, 1973
term_end3 =January 24, 1977
predecessor3 =Graham Martin
successor3 =Richard N. Gardner
birth_date =December 8, 1908
birth_place =Wakefield, Massachusetts
death_date =November 11, 1994
death_place =
restingplace =Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield, Massachusetts
party =Republican
spouse =Jennie Volpe
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =Wentworth Institute of Technology
occupation =
profession =
net worth =
cabinet =
committees =
portfolio =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

John Anthony Volpe (December 8, 1908 - November 11, 1994) was a Governor of Massachusetts and a U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Volpe was born in 1908 in Wakefield, Massachusetts. ["John Volpe, The Life of An Immigrant's Son", Kathleen Kilgore, Yankee Books, 1987, pages 19-20] He was the son of Italian immigrants Vito and Filomena (Benedetto), who had come from Abruzzo to Boston's North End in 1905; his father was in the construction business. On June 18, 1934, Volpe married Jennie Benedetto, with whom he had two children, John, Jr. and Jean (m. Rotondi).

Volpe attended Wentworth Institute in Boston and entered the construction business, building his own firm in 1930. During World War II, he volunteered to serve stateside as a United States Navy Seabees training officer. In 1953, he was appointed as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Works, and in 1956 he was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first Federal Highway Administrator.

He was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1960, and served from 1961 to 1963, before narrowly losing reelection in 1962 to Endicott Peabody. In 1964, he ran for Governor again and won, and was re-elected in 1966 for the first four-year term in Massachusetts history.

During his administration, Governor Volpe signed legislation to ban racial imbalances in education, reorganized the state's Board of Education, liberalized birth control laws, and increased public housing for low-income families. Governor Volpe also raised revenues by increasing the state sales tax to three percent. He served as President of the National Governor's Association from 1967 to 1968.

In 1968, Governor Volpe ran unsuccessfully as a "favorite son" candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He was defeated in the state presidential primary by a spontaneous write-in campaign for New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. It was widely believed that he was hoping to be chosen as his party's candidate for Vice President.

Following the election of Richard M. Nixon, Volpe was named Secretary of Transportation. He resigned as Governor to assume the cabinet post, and served in that position from 1969 to 1973. During his administration as Secretary of Transportation, Amtrak was created. In 1973, Volpe was nominated by President Nixon and confirmed by the Senate as United States Ambassador to Italy, a position he held until 1977.

Governor Volpe died in 1994, and is buried in Forest Glade Cemetery in Wakefield. The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge was named in his memory, as well as the Governor John A. Volpe Library at Wakefield High School in Wakefield.

The [ papers of John A. Volpe] are in the Archives and Special Collections of the Northeastern University Libraries, in Boston MA.


External links

* [ Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Biography]

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