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Eugene McCarthy

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Date of Interview



Stephen McKiernan


McCarthy, Eugene J., 1916-2005

Biographical Text

Eugene McCarthy (1916 - 2005), a native of Watkins, Minnesota was a politician, academic, author, and poet. He spent twenty-two years in the halls of the United States Congress representing the state of Minnesota; ten years in the House of Representatives and twelve years in the United States Senate (1948-1970).  He received a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota and became a professor of Economics before serving in World War II. The nation and the world got to know Senator McCarthy during the 1960s as the war in Vietnam escalated for he was a major opponent against President Johnson's handling of the war.  He was the first Democrat to challenge President Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 primaries.  The happenings in Vietnam, TET, played a major role in these stunning developments since McCarthy was running on an anti-war platform.  Senator McCarthy could not overtake Hubert Humphrey, President Johnson's choice as the Democratic nominee for president.  In later years, he ran for president a few more times but did not receive the widespread support he had in 1968 as the first courageous Democrat to challenge a sitting president of his own party.  Eugene McCarthy was a very gifted writer and poet throughout his life, publishing more than 20 books. Senator McCarthy passed away in 2005 and was honored at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC where President Clinton gave the eulogy.





Digital Publisher

Binghamton University Libraries

Digital Format



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Original Format


Material Type


Interview Format


Subject LCSH

Legislators—United States;
Poets, American;
Presidential candidates—United States;
McCarthy, Eugene J., 1916-2005--Interviews

Rights Statement

This audio file and digital image may only be used for educational purposes. Please cite as: McKiernan Interviews, Special Collections, Binghamton University Libraries, Binghamton University, State University of New York. For usage beyond fair use please contact the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections for more information.


Baby boom generation; College students; Activism; Generation gap; Technology; Scott Fitzgerald; Vietnam War; Civil War; Hubert Humphrey, Thurgood Marshall; Abbie Hoffman; Jerry Rubin; Ralph Nader.


Eugene McCarthy.jpg


“Eugene McCarthy,” Digital Collections, accessed December 9, 2022,