SMATHERS, George Armistead

1913–2007

Biography

SMATHERS, George Armistead, (nephew of William Howell Smathers), a Representative and a Senator from Florida; born in Atlantic City, N.J., November 14, 1913; moved to Miami, Fla., in 1919; attended the public schools of Dade County, Fla.; graduated from the University of Florida at Gainesville in 1936 and from its law school in 1938; admitted to the bar in 1938 and commenced practice in Miami, Fla.; assistant United States district attorney 1940-1942; during World War II served in the United States Marine Corps from May 1942 until discharged as a major in October 1945; special assistant to the U.S. attorney general from October 1945 until his resignation in January 1946 to begin his campaign for Representative in Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Eightieth and Eighty-first Congresses (January 3, 1947-January 3, 1951); was not a candidate for renomination in 1950; elected to the United States Senate in 1950; reelected in 1956 and 1962 and served from January 3, 1951, until January 3, 1969; was not a candidate for reelection in 1968; chairman, Special Committee on Aging (Eighty-eighth and Eighty-ninth Congresses), Select Committee on Small Business (Ninetieth Congress); resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., and Miami, Fla.; was a resident of Washington, D.C., and Indian Creek Village, Fla., until his death on January 20, 2007; interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Columbia University
Oral History Project

New York, NY
Oral History: Discussed in interview with Edward R. Annis.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (October 2, 1967) in the Burns collection.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: Correspondence in National Grange records, 1842-1969.

Florida Bureau of Archives and Records Management

Tallahassee, FL
Papers: Correspondence in the papers of his son, Florida State Senator Bruce Smathers, 1970-1974. 27 feet. Finding aid.

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
Papers: Several reels of TV film and photographs.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library

Austin, TX
Oral History: February 14, 1977. 23 pages. Closed.

John F. Kennedy Library

Boston, MA
Oral History: 1964. 68 pages. Portions closed.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in William Frederick Halsey papers, 1907-1959. Finding aid.

U.S. Senate
Historical Office

Washington, DC
Oral History: August 1-October 24, 1989. 172 pages. Focuses on Senate career. Available on Senate home page. Also discussed in interview (January 13, 1992) with Scott I. Peek, administrative assistant to Senator Smathers, 122 pages.

University of Florida
George A. Smathers Libraries

Gainesville, FL
Papers: 1942-1968. 122 boxes. Includes subject numeric correspondence files (1942-1968); speeches, statements, and remarks (1946-1968); campaign files (1950-1968); and media files including radio recordings, radio and television broadcast scripts, newsletters, press releases, clippings, and photographs (1958-1968). Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Zora Neale Hurston papers, 1932-1960.
Oral History: August 1-October 24, 1989. 172 pages. Senate Historical Office, Oral History Project.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Correspondence in Margaret Bayne Price papers, 1918-1969. Finding aid.

University of West Florida

Pensacola, FL
Papers: Miscellaneous items in several collections.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Crispell, Brian Lewis. Testing the Limits: George Armistead Smathers and Cold War America. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999.

___. "George Smathers and the Politics of Cold War America, 1946-1968," Ph. D. Diss., The Florida State University, 1996.

Swint, Kerwin C. "Homo Sapiens, Thespians, and Extroverts," in Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006: 47-54.

Wickman, Patricia R. The Uncommon Man: George Smathers of Florida. Privately published, 1994.

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