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87th Congress (1961–1963)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 437 Representatives
  • 1 Resident Commissioner

Party Divisions:*

  • 264 Democrats
  • 173 Republicans

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

  • Election Statistics, 1960 [PDF]
John William McCormack/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_mccormack_2005_016_045.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Massachusetts Representative John McCormack served five terms as Speaker of the House.

Congress Overview

Democrats lost seats but retained control of Congress and narrowly won the presidency after the 1960 elections. The House added seats to its Rules Committee, the effect of which enhanced the leadership’s powers and reduced an obstacle to social reform legislation. The 87th Congress (1961–1963) established the Peace Corps, which sent American volunteers overseas to provide technical training; provided the first federal assistance to mass transportation; and strengthened the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory controls. Sam Rayburn of Texas died with the record for longest service as House Speaker.

Member Information

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, (1774–2005), Official Annotated Membership Roster by State with Vacancy and Special Election Information for the 87th Congress [PDF]
  • Learn more about the House of Representatives with an interactive map

Learn more about the People of the People's House

Leadership & Officers

Speaker of the House:
John W. McCormack (D– Massachusetts)
Sam Rayburn (D–Texas) 1
Majority Leader:
Carl B. Albert (D–Oklahoma) 2
John W. McCormack (D–Massachusetts) 3
Minority Leader:
Charles A. Halleck (R–Indiana)
Democratic Whip:
Carl Albert (D–Oklahoma)
Thomas Hale Boggs (D–Louisiana)
Republican Whip:
Leslie C. Arends (R–Illinois)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
Francis E. Walter (D–Pennsylvania) 4
Republican Conference Chairman:
Charles Hoeven (R–Iowa)
Clerk of the House:
Ralph R. Roberts
Sergeant at Arms:
Zeake W. Johnson, Jr.
Chaplain of the House:
Bernard Braskamp – Presbyterian
William M. Miller
H. H. Morris
Lewis Deschler

To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section


1Died November 16, 1961.

2Elected Majority Leader on January 10, 1962, at the commencement of the 87th Congress, 2nd session, to fill the vacancy left when Majority Leader John McCormack was elected Speaker.

3Elected Speaker on January 10, 1962, at the commencement of the 87th Congress, 2nd session, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Sam Rayburn.

4Died in office, May 31, 1963. Caucus chairman post vacant until January 21, 1964.