- John A. Volpe
name =John Anthony Volpe
office =United States Secretary of Transportation
January 22, 1969
February 1, 1973
predecessor =Alan S. Boyd
order2 =61st & 63rd
office2 =Governor of Massachusetts
January 5, 1961
January 3, 1963 January 7, 1965– January 22, 1969
Edward F. McLaughlin, Jr. Elliot Richardson Francis W. Sargent
Foster Furcolo Endicott Peabody
Endicott Peabody Francis W. Sargent
United States Ambassador to Italy
March 6, 1973
January 24, 1977
Richard N. Gardner
December 8, 1908
November 11, 1994
restingplace =Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield, Massachusetts
spouse =Jennie Volpe
Wentworth Institute of Technology
net worth =
John Anthony Volpe (
December 8, 1908- November 11, 1994) was a Governor of Massachusettsand 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 Abruzzoto 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. Eisenhoweras the first Federal HighwayAdministrator.
He was elected
Governor of Massachusettsin 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 controllaws, 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 YorkGovernor 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, Amtrakwas 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 Centerin Cambridge was named in his memory, as well as the Governor John A. Volpe Library at Wakefield High School in Wakefield.
The [http://www.library.neu.edu/archives/collect/findaids/m67find.htm papers of John A. Volpe] are in the Archives and Special Collections of the Northeastern University Libraries, in Boston MA.
* [http://www.mass.gov/statehouse/massgovs/jvolpe.htm Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Biography]
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