Minnesota Author Biographies.

Eugene J. McCarthy

Eugene J. McCarthy

"Quiet Waters" from Selected Poems (1997) by Eugene J. McCarthy

Quiet Waters

There are quiet waters
where a berry dropped
by a bird flying
starts ripples that
from the center of the pond
spread in concentrics, dying
in silence at the feet of the blue reeds.
I now know where these waters are.

Biographical Notes

Birth: March 29, 1916, Watkins, Minnesota
Death: December 10, 2005, Washington, District of Columbia

Author, poet, and teacher Eugene Joseph McCarthy served as a U.S. congressman from Minnesota's Fourth District from 1949-58 and represented Minnesota as a U.S. senator from 1959-1970. McCarthy earned a B.A. from St. John's University (Collegeville) in 1935 and a M.A. in sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1938. He was a professor of economic education at St. John's University from 1940-42, technical assistant for military intelligence during World War II from 1942-46, an instructor in sociology and economics, and acting head of the sociology department for St. Thomas College from 1946-48. McCarthy served as chairman for the Ramsey County DFL party in 1947. He chaired the Senate Special Committee on Unemployment in the late 1950s, was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1965, and an unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate in 1968. His views against the Vietnam War raised fundamental questions concerning U.S. intervention that became military, political, and moral issues. McCarthy became senior editor at Simon and Schuster in New York City in 1973 and he authored a syndicated column beginning in 1977. McCarthy authored several books and contributed articles and poetry to numerous publications, including Commonweal, New Republic, Confrontation, Capital Times, Los Angeles Times, America, and McCall's. McCarthy was married to Abigail Quigley, whom he separated from in 1969. They had four children.

Selected Works

The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.

Frontiers in American Democracy
Gene McCarthy's Minnesota
Ground Fog and Night: Poems
The Limits of Power; America's Role in the World
Mr. Raccoon and His Friends
My Life in the Great Soo League
Other Things and the Aardvark
A Political Bestiary
Up 'til Now: A Memoir
The Year of the People

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
Minnesota Historical Society Collections Online
History Topics - Overview of resources on McCarthy
Eugene J. McCarthy Papers, 1947-1970
Almost to the Presidency; a Biography of Two American Politicians by Albert Eisele

Web Links

Eugene J. McCarthy Papers - University of Minnesota McCarthy collection
Eugene McCarthy, Who Galvanized a Generation of War Opponents, Dies - Minnesota Public Radio news feature
The McCarthy Tapes - Minnesota Public Radio documentary of McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign
BAN Page Charts - Charts about vote percentages for independent presidential candidates, including McCarthy

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