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BREWSTER, Ralph Owen

1888–1961

Biography

BREWSTER, Ralph Owen, a Representative and a Senator from Maine; born in Dexter, Penobscot County, Maine, February 22, 1888; attended the public schools; graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1909, and from the law department of Harvard University 1913; high school principal 1910; admitted to the bar in 1913 and commenced practice in Portland, Maine; member of the Portland school committee 1915-1923; member, State house of representatives 1917-1918, but resigned to enter military service; served successively as private, second lieutenant, captain, and regimental adjutant, Third Infantry, Maine National Guard; member, State house of representatives 1921-1923; member of the State senate 1923-1925; Governor of Maine 1925-1929; chairman of the National Governors Conference 1925-1927; unsuccessful candidate for election to the Seventy-third Congress in 1932; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-fourth, Seventy-fifth, and Seventy-sixth Congresses (January 3, 1935-January 3, 1941); did not seek renomination in 1940, having become a candidate for United States Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1940; reelected in 1946 and served from January 3, 1941, until his resignation December 31, 1952; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1952; chairman, Special Committee on National Defense (Eightieth Congress); died in Boston, Mass., December 25, 1961; interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Dexter, Maine.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Bowdoin College
Archives

Brunswick, ME
Papers: 1909-1962. 150 linear feet. Correspondence (1923-1961), issue and legislative files, published and unpublished reports, nomination files, campaign files, newspaper clippings, and photographs documenting his early years (1909-24), gubernatorial service (1924-1929), private practice (1923-34), service in the House of Representatives (1935-40) and Senate (1941-52) and Post-Senate years (1952-62). Topics include the Truman Committee, interstate commerce, foreign oil reserves, Pearl Harbor, Republican Party issues, Maine potatoe industry, the port of Portland, pensions, and World War II. Finding aid.

Columbia University
Oral History Project

New York, NY
Oral History: Discussed in interview with Horace M. Albright.

Maine Historical Society

Portland, ME
Papers: 1943-1946. 1 folder. Congressional papers, correspondence, and photographs.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Madison, WI
Papers: In Americans for Constitutional Action records, 1955-1971.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In Chase Salmon Osborn papers, 1889-1949.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In the Edwin Montefiore Borchard papers, 1910-1950; Charles Parsons papers, 1880-1965; and Tyler Gatewood Kent papers, 1940-1963.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Maher, Sister M. Patrick Ellen. "The Role of the Chairman of a Congressional Investigating Committee: A Case Study of the Special Committee of the Senate to Investigate the National Defense Program, 1941-1948." Ph.D. dissertation, St. Louis University, 1962.

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