Robert F. Kennedy Writes Family Friend and Political Supporter Richard Flood during John F. Kennedy’s 1952 Senate Campaign
John F. Kennedy’s brother and campaign manager corresponds on campaign stationery with family friend and Lowell, Massachusetts attorney Richard Flood during Kennedy’s 1952 Senate campaign.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY, Typed Letter Signed, to Richard R. Flood, August 27, 1952. On colorful “John F. Kennedy for U.S. Senator” stationery. 1 p., 8.5" x 11". Expected folds; very good.
Thank you very much for your letter received this morning.
I will keep you informed of what we can do from here.
Robert F. Kennedy
[Handwritten Postscript:] P.S. You will hear within a couple of days.
In 1952, Massachusetts Congressman John F. Kennedy challenged Republican incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Robert F. Kennedy managed his older brother’s campaign. The contest again pitted the long-established Protestant Republican Lodge family against the newer but well-established Irish Catholic Democratic Kennedy family. In 1916, Lodge’s grandfather had held off a challenge by Kennedy’s grandfather, Boston Mayor John F. Fitzgerald, for Lodge’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
Kennedy launched his campaign early in 1952 and visited every village and town in Massachusetts at least once in the course of the year. Meanwhile, Lodge devote his energies to convincing a reluctant Dwight D. Eisenhower to win the Republican presidential nomination over Robert A. Taft. Lodge succeeded but created enemies among Taft supporters in Massachusetts. Kennedy also benefitted from the support of Catholic Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who though a Republican, refused to campaign for Lodge because of his friendship with the Kennedy family.
The Boston Post had planned to support Lodge, but Joseph P. Kennedy, John’s father, arranged for a $500,000 loan to the struggling newspaper in return for its endorsement of his son. In the election, although Eisenhower won the state by more than 200,000 votes, Kennedy narrowly upset Lodge by 70,000 votes and a 3-percent margin.
Kennedy’s victory marked the end of the Lodge dynasty in Massachusetts politics and the beginning of the Kennedy dynasty. Kennedy family members and friends controlled the Senate seat until Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009.
Richard R. Flood (1914-1969) was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College in 1939 and from its law school in 1946 as of 1942. Flood served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II. He received a master’s degree from the Harvard Business School cum laude in 1947. Admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1948, he established a practice in Lowell, Massachusetts, and was a partner in the firm of Flood, Valentine, and Foisy until his death.
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