- Styles Bridges
Infobox Senator | name=Henry Styles Bridges
jr/sr=United States Senator
January 3, 1937
January 3, 1961
Henry W. Keyes
Maurice J. Murphy, Jr.
order2 = 90th
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
January 3, 1953
January 3, 1955
Walter F. George
order3 = 10th United States Senate Minority Leader
January 8, 1952
January 3, 1953
Kenneth S. Wherry
Lyndon B. Johnson
order4 = 72nd
Governor of New Hampshire
January 3, 1935
January 7, 1937
John G. Winant
Francis P. Murphy
September 9, 1898
November 26, 1961
Concord, New Hampshire
party = Republican
spouse = (1) Sally Clement
(2) Doloris Thauwald
Henry Styles Bridges (
September 9 1898– November 26 1961) was an American teacher, editor, and Republican Party politician from Concord, New Hampshire. He served one term as Governor of New Hampshirebefore a twenty-four year career in the United States Senate.
Bridges was born in West Pembroke, Maine. He attended the
public schools in Maine. He attended the University of Maineat Orono until 1918. From 1918 he held a variety of jobs, including teaching, newspaper editing, business and state government. He was an instructor at Sanderson Academy, Ashfield, Massachusettsfrom 1918 to 1919. He was a member of the extension staff of the University of New Hampshireat Durham from 1921 until 1922. He was the secretary of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation from 1922 until 1923, and the editor of the "Granite Monthly" Magazinefrom 1924 until 1926. Meanwhile, He was the director and secretary of the New Hampshire Investment Corporation from 1924 until 1929. He was then a member of the New Hampshire Public Service Commission from 1930 until 1934.
Bridges ran for the position of
governorof New Hampshire in 1934, and won, becoming the nation's youngest governor at the time, according to John Gunther's book, "Inside U.S.A.". He was elected to the United States Senatein 1936, and would serve until his death in 1961. In 1937 he retired from the Army Reserve Corps, in which he had served as a Lieutenant since 1925. In 1940 he attempted to win the Republican nomination for President; the nomination was eventually won by Wendell Willkie. Bridges broke his hip on New Year's Eve1941 and missed several months of the next Senate session.
In the Senate, John Gunther wrote, Bridges was "an aggressive reactionary on most issues...and he is pertinaciously engaged in a continual running fight with the CIO, the
Roosevelt familyand the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." ("Inside U.S.A.", p. 471)
Bridges was reelected to four subsequent six-year terms in 1942, 1948, 1954 and again in 1960, although he did not complete his final term due to his death. He became the highest-ranking Republican senator, serving as chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation when the Republicans had control of the Senate from 1947 until 1949, Senate Minority Leader from 1952 until 1953,
President pro tempore of the United States Senatewhen the Republicans had control of it from 1953 until 1955, chairman of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Arrangements for both of the inaugurations of President Dwight Eisenhower, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations when the Republicans had control of the Senate from 1947-1949 and 1953-1955, and Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee from 1954 until his death.
Interstate 93in New Hampshire is named the Styles Bridges Highway.
Blackmail of Senator Lester Hunt
In 1954, Bridges delivered a
blackmailthreat to WyomingDemocratic Senator Lester C. Hunt. He threatened to expose Hunt's son as a homosexual if Hunt did not leave the Senate. Hunt announced his retirement, then committed suicide. This incident was later fictionalized by Allen Druryin his novel " Advise and Consent".
Death and burial
Bridges died in East Concord and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery there.
In 1961, after Bridges' death, his widow received six large envelopes that, per rumor, contained unreported cash contributions from lobbyists and corporations, according to Lewis L. Gould's book "The Most Exclusive Club". The book cites as a reference on the charge the biography "Styles Bridges: Yankee Senator", by James J. Kiepper, Phoenix Publishing (2001) ISBN 0-914659-93-6.
* [http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B000823 biographic sketch at U.S. Congress website]
* [http://www.state.nh.us/nhdhr/glikeness/bridhsty.html Styles at New Hampshire's Division of Historic Resources]
* [http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2004/11/01/news/wyoming/8cf263f85d4be99387256f3e0020f92f.txt Tamara Linse, A senator's suicide, Caspar Star Tribune, November 1, 2004]
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