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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
62nd Governor of Massachusetts
In office: January 3, 1963 - January 7, 1965
Lieutenant: Francis X. Bellotti
Preceded by: John A. Volpe
Succeeded by: John A. Volpe
Born: February 15, 1920 in Lawrence, Massachusetts
Died: December 1, 1997 (aged 77) in Hollis, New Hampshire
Political party: Democratic
Spouse: Barbara “Toni” Welch Gibbons, married June 24, 1944
Endicott “Chub” Peabody (February 15, 1920 - December 1, 1997) was Governor of Massachusetts from January 3, 1963 to January 7, 1965. Peabody was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts; he served in the United States Navy during World War II, where he was decorated with the Silver Star for gallantry. He earned A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, before being admitted to the Massachusetts bar on October 14, 1948. An All American star defensive lineman for the Harvard football team, he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a grandson of the founder of the Groton School and Brooks School, also named Endicott Peabody.
He ran for political office unsuccessfully in Massachusetts several times. In 1962 he was elected Governor, upsetting Republican Governor John Volpe by 4,431 votes out of over 2 million cast. He served a single two year term, but in 1964, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti. In 1966 he ran for a seat in the United States Senate and lost by a wide margin to then state Attorney General Edward Brooke. Also during the United States presidential election, 1960 he coordinated John F. Kennedy's Presidential campaigns in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
Peabody is remembered for recommending the commutation of every death sentence he reviewed while serving as governor between 1963 and 1965. Massachusetts performed the last execution in state history in 1947.
During his administration as Governor the state's constitutional offices were standardized to four year terms. Peabody advocated laws to prevent discrimination in housing and the establishment of drug addiction treatment programs. Governor Peabody was defeated in the Democratic Party primary and did not stand for popular reelection to a second term.
It was front page news around the country on April 1, 1964 when the governor’s 72 year old mother, Mary Parkman Peabody, was arrested at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida for attempting to be served in an integrated group at a racially segregated restaurant. This made Mrs. Peabody a hero to the civil rights movement, and brought the efforts in St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, to national and international attention. The story of her arrest is told in many books including one by her arrest companion Hester Campbell, called Four for Freedom.
In 1966, Peabody successfully sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat for Massachusetts, which was open that year. He was defeated by a landslide in the general election by Edward Brooke.
Peabody undertook an extremely quixotic campaign for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket in 1972; he came in fourth in the balloting at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. He ran under the slogan “Endicott Peabody, the number one man for the number two job.”
In 1983, he moved to Hollis, New Hampshire, where he ran, again unsuccessfully, for local and statewide political office several times. Nicknamed “Chub”, Peabody struggled to transcend his preppy sounding name and WASP ethnicity at a time when Irish American politicians like the Kennedy family and their Italian American counterparts such as John A. Volpe and Foster Furcolo were appealing to large Roman Catholic Church constituencies.
On 24 June 1944 he married Barbara “Toni” Welch Gibbons (born 1922), a native of Bermuda and elder daughter of Morris Gibbons and his wife, the former Maude Madge Welch. They had a daughter, Barbara, and two sons, Robert and Endicott Jr.. Peabody died of cancer and leukemia in 1997 in Hollis, New Hampshire at the age of 77, and is buried in Groton, Massachusetts. Peabody was a descendant of the colonial Massachusetts governor John Endecott.