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I am interested in anything members might have on Matthew H. McCloskey. This is what I have so far:

Matthew McCloskey was born in Wheeling, Ohio County, on 26th February, 1893. McCloskey also owned a large construction company based in Philadelphia. McCloskey was also a member of the Democratic Party he was delegate to the National Conference in 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948.

A Roman Catholic, he became a close friend of JFK. He was an important party fund raiser and in 1954 was Treasurer of Democratic National Committee. During this period he became associated with what became known as Kennedy's Irish Mafia (a group that included Grant Stockdale, Dave Powers, Larry O'Brien and Kenneth O'Donnell).

McCloskey built the Rayburn House Office Building, the District of Columbia Stadium and three large housing projects in Florida. In 1962 JFK appointed McCloskey to replace Grant Stockdale as ambassador to Ireland.

In 1963 Senator John Williams of Delaware began investigating the activities of Bobby Baker. As a result of his work, Baker resigned as the secretary to Lyndon B. Johnson on 9th October, 1963. During his investigations Williams met Don B. Reynolds and persuaded him to appear before a secret session of the Senate Rules Committee.

Reynolds told B. Everett Jordan and his committee on 22nd November, 1963, that Johnson had demanded that he provided kickbacks in return for him agreeing to this life insurance policy. This included a $585 Magnavox stereo. Reynolds was also told by Walter Jenkins that he had to pay for $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Johnson's television station in Austin. Reynolds had paperwork for this transaction including a delivery note that indicated the stereo had been sent to the home of Johnson. Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Baker described as a "$100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract".

Reynolds also provided evidence against McCloskey. He suggested that he given $25,000 to Baker in order to get the contract to build the District of Columbia Stadium. His testimony came to an end when news arrived that JFK had been assassinated.

Reynolds also appeared before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee on 1st December, 1964. Before the hearing Reynolds supplied a statement implicating Bobby Baker and Matthew McCloskey in financial corruption. It seemed that the District of Columbia Stadium government project was initially fixed at $6m but for some reason it was agreed to allow McCloskey to charge $20m for the project. However, the Democrats had a 6-3 majority on the Committee and Reynolds was not allowed to fully explore the role that JFK and LBJ had played in this deal.

Matthew McCloskey died in 1973.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmccloskey.htm

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http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/mccloskey-mcclung.html

McCloskey, Matthew Henry, Jr. (1893-1973) — also known as Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr. — of Overbrook (now part of Pittsburgh), Allegheny County, Pa.; Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Wheeling, Ohio County, W.Va., February 26, 1893. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964; Treasurer of Democratic National Committee, 1954; candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1956; U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, 1962-64. Catholic. Died in 1973. Interment at Calvary Cemetery, Near West Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Pa.

http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,936780,00.html

Time. Monday, Dec. 23, 1957

When Millionaire Contractor Matthew H. McCloskey sold his Philadelphia Daily News (circ. 192,401) to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Walter H. Annenberg last week, no one was more surprised than the News's publisher, David ("Tom") Stern III. Since taking over management of the ailing Democratic tabloid a year ago (TIME, Jan. 7), Philadelphia-born Tom Stern, 48, had cut its losses from $225,000 a month to $40,000 a month, and estimated that it would lose no more than $200,000 in 1958. "Given a reasonable amount of time, we would have had an independent and profitable enterprise," protested Stern, who also publishes the thriving New Orleans Item (circ. 105,560). Tom Stern had a six-year option to buy 50% of Owner McCloskey's Daily News stock (for less than $5,000), but, says he, "only four days before the sale, McCloskey told us that he was not impatient, that he would go along for another year."

Also puzzled were Philadelphia newsmen. Why did Walter Annenberg, whose staunchly Republican morning Inquirer has often feuded with McCloskey in the past, want the Democratic morning News (long known to Philadelphians as "The Dirty News")? Why had the Democratic Party's longtime National Treasurer Matt McCloskey capitulated? Though neither the civic-minded Inquirer (circ. 609,350) nor Robert McLean's quietly thorough afternoon Bulletin (circ. 718,007) paid more than cursory attention to the sale, the answers seemed clear enough. Hard-headed Contractor McCloskey, who had pumped some $5,000,000 into the News in his three years of ownership, was unable to resist Annenberg's offer to buy the rising paper, lock, stock and debt. Said McCloskey: "It was an expensive luxury."

And Publisher Annenberg, whose booming Triangle Publications will add the Daily News to its rich grab-bag collection (TV Guide, Seventeen, Daily Racing Form, Morning Telegraph), saw a promising opportunity for a light-feature and top-of-the-news sheet that will not try to match the intensive local coverage of his Inquirer or the prosperous Bulletin. Under its new publisher, the Daily News will go from a semi-morning paper (six editions, from midnight to noon) to one-shift afternoon publication (two editions, at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.), in competition with the Bulletin. It will drop its pallid "weekend edition" (which goes to press on Friday night), remold its politics to an "independent" line closer to Annenberg's own views. Said one Annenberg aide: "In the Delaware Valley, with 5,200,000 people, there's room for such a paper." The new management also moved swiftly to cut the payroll, and by week's end had laid off 77 staffers, including 16 newsmen and some 30 truck-drivers. To News employees it was an old story. Just before Christmas last year, Matt McCloskey fired 64 (of 117) editorial staffers.

Founder of Martin DePorres Foundation

http://www.martindeporresfoundation.org/about.html

The goal of the Martin de Porres Foundation is to develop lay leadership among African American Catholics. This is achieved through religious education as well as training in Ministry and Leadership skills. The Foundation supports these lay leaders in their efforts to advance Catholicism in The Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Martin de Porres Foundation was founded in 1948 by Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr, prominent Philadelphia builder and philanthropist. The first formal meeting of the incorporators and original members of the foundation took place January 29, 1949. Mr. McCloskey owned and operated a construction company headquartered at 1620 Thompson Street in North Philadelphia. The company was near the Church of the Gesu and not far from St. Elizabeth Church.

He became friendly with the pastor of St. Elizabeth Church, Msgr. Edward Cunnie, who recognized the need to develop black lay leadership in order to advance Catholicism in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Msgr. Cunnie thought the best way to accomplish this was through education. He asked Mr. McCloskey to assist some of the neighborhood children with scholarships. Initially McCloskey established six scholarships - three for boys and three for girls - to St. Joseph's, LaSalle, and Villanova, and to Immaculata, Rosemont, and Chestnut Hill Colleges.

Through the years, the Martin de Porres Foundation has provided partial college scholarships to African American adults; has underwritten the cost of pursuing religious studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and subsidized many of the programs of the St. Peter Claver Center for Evangelization. Presently, a portion of the Foundation's budget funds the Directors of Religious Education serving in the Urban Ministry parishes.

We applaud the original Martin de Porres scholars, all former scholarship recipients and present grant beneficiaries, the Administrators, Coordinators, and Directors of Religious Education who have served inner city parishes throughout the years.

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Will someone with access to a newspaper archive please post an obit for this guy? - Thanks

McCloskey, Matthew Henry, Jr. (1893-1973) — also known as Matthew H. McCloskey, Jr. — of Overbrook (now part of Pittsburgh), Allegheny County, Pa.; Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Wheeling, Ohio County, W.Va., February 26, 1893. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964; Treasurer of Democratic National Committee, 1954; candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1956; U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, 1962-64. Catholic. Died in 1973. Interment at Calvary Cemetery, Near West Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Pa.

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Will someone with access to a newspaper archive please post an obit for this guy? - Thanks

The Tucson Daily Citizen (27th April, 1973)

Matthew H. McCloskey Jr., former U.S.. ambassador to Ireland and a long-time Democratic party fund raiser, is dead at 80.

McCloskey died yesterday at a suburban Philadelphia hospital. The grandson of Irish immigrants, McCloskey was born in Wheeling, W. Va. He was one of eight children.

McCloskey founded a construction company which changed much of Philadelphia's skyline.

A jovial friend of presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt, McCloskey worked hard for his party and contributed generously to the Philadelphia archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

He also was a potent force in Democratic politics. For seven years he was national treasurer, raising more than $20 million.

Leader-Times, Kittanning, Pa. Saturday, Apr. 28,1973

Cardinal Krol, archbishop of Philadelphia, will officiate Monday at a mass of the resurrection for Matthew H. McCloskey Jr., millionaire builder and confidant of several presidents.

McCloskey, U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 1962 to 1964, died Thursday at the age of 80.

He raised an estimated $60 million for the Democratic Party during his lifetime, and was treasurer of the party from 1955 to 1962. McCloskey, who had a nack for turning a buck made the $100-a-plate campaign dinner a political tradition.

He founded McCloskey and Co. in 1914 and from a job which gave him a profit of $500 he built the business into one of

the largest contractors in the nation. He received many government contracts, including the Rayburn House Building, the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, Veterans Stadium here and The Spectrum sports area here.

More to follow.

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Lebanon Daily News, Friday, April 27, 1973

Matthew H. McCloskey, millionaire contractor and lifelong Democratic fund raiser who invented $100-a-plate dinner, died Thursday night at a hospital here. He was 80. McCloskey, a tough-talking, self-made man who was appointed ambassador to Ireland by President John F. Kennedy, had been hospitalized since March 30.

Born in a wooden farm house in Glen's Run, W. Va , McCloskey eventually served for seven years as national treasurer of the Democratic Party and raised an estimated $20 million. He was a friend and supporter of every Democratic president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson.

A son said that McCloskey, a boot-straps millionaire who made a fortune in the construction industry, had been ill for

several months. McCloskey, known to his friends as "Matt," claimed he was born with two things in life: "My religion and my politics."

He was a devout Roman Catholic and became interested in politics in the 1930's. A salty man who minced no words, McCloskey worked his way up through the party to become treasurer and its chief fund raiser. In his lifetime he

wielded power both on the national scene and in Pennsylvania politics.

McCloskey's construction empire, which he began building after his family moved to Philadelphia in the early 1900's, was one of the largest in the nation.

McCloskey, who dropped out of school in the seventh grade, took night courses in business and engineering. He was acknowledged as a genius by his competitors in the building trades.

McCloskey Enterprises Inc., constructed many of Washington's most prominent buildings, including the Rayburn building, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare headquarters, the old Senate office building and the Census building.

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An article about McCloskey and the Bobby Baker scandal:

Mason City Globe-Gazette (1st October, 1964)

The Senate's reopened Bobby Baker investigation got off to a low keyed start Thursday, with testimony about an alleged

35,000 political payoff on the District of Columbia stadium contract.

The first witness called by the Senate rules committee was James A. Blaser, director of building and grounds for the District government and contracting officer for the 50,000 seat stadium. He told about the selection of architectural and engineering

firms to draw plans for the stadium and testified that the opening of sealed bids on June 10, 1960, showed McCloskey &

Co. of Philadelphia had submitted a low bid of $14,247,187.50.

Blaser said bid, submitted by 10 firms were kept in a padlocked box until they were opened at a public gathering in the office of the District Armory Board, which had responsibilityfor the stadium construction.

Sen. John J. Williams, R-Del., charged in a. senate speech a month ago that Matthew McCloskey, head of the Philadeliphia firm that won the contract made a $35,000 overpayment on the performance bond for the stadium to Don B. Reynolds, a

local insurance agent.

Williams quoted Reynolds as telling him that $25,000 of this was funneled through Baker, then secretary to the Senate's

Democratic majority, into the into the 1960 Kennedy-Johnson campaign fund. Baker resigned his $19,600 a year senate job last fall after questions were raised about his outside dealings and business interests.

McCloskey, former ambassador to Ireland, has been a Democratic fund raiser. At the outset of Thursday's hearing, Chairman B. Everett Jordan, D-N.C., said he wanted to explain, why the committee was taking testimony first about the details of the stadium project rather than plunging directly into Williams' payoff charge.

He said that Williams had implied that there was something very seriously wrong in the whole conduct of the stadium

project, that McCloskey had "possibly showed favoritism" and that changes in plans after, the construction award might have given McCloskey a "price advantage" These changes ran the cost up by several million dollars.

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Will someone with access to a newspaper archive please post an obit for this guy? - Thanks

Bill, did you find the obituaries useful? I also have a longer one from the New York Times that needs to be transcribed. It would he helpful if I knew what aspect of his life you are interested in.

One of the strange things about this case is that Grant Stockdale is forced to resign by JFK as ambassador to Ireland in July, 1962, because he was being dragged into the Bobby Baker investigation. JFK replaced Stockdale with McCloskey and within weeks of his appointment, he is also named by Don Reynolds as being involved in the Baker scandal. This eventually forces him to resign from the post.

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Will someone with access to a newspaper archive please post an obit for this guy? - Thanks

Bill, did you find the obituaries useful? I also have a longer one from the New York Times that needs to be transcribed. It would he helpful if I knew what aspect of his life you are interested in.

One of the strange things about this case is that Grant Stockdale is forced to resign by JFK as ambassador to Ireland in July, 1962, because he was being dragged into the Bobby Baker investigation. JFK replaced Stockdale with McCloskey and within weeks of his appointment, he is also named by Don Reynolds as being involved in the Baker scandal. This eventually forces him to resign from the post.

I wasn't looking for anything particular, it's just obits are the source of so much info, especially names of relatives, sons and daughters, who were pall barers, etc.

BK

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  • 4 weeks later...

Will someone with access to a newspaper archive please post an obit for this guy? - Thanks

Bill, did you find the obituaries useful? I also have a longer one from the New York Times that needs to be transcribed. It would he helpful if I knew what aspect of his life you are interested in.

One of the strange things about this case is that Grant Stockdale is forced to resign by JFK as ambassador to Ireland in July, 1962, because he was being dragged into the Bobby Baker investigation. JFK replaced Stockdale with McCloskey and within weeks of his appointment, he is also named by Don Reynolds as being involved in the Baker scandal. This eventually forces him to resign from the post.

I wasn't looking for anything particular, it's just obits are the source of so much info, especially names of relatives, sons and daughters, who were pall barers, etc.

BK

Can anyone post a more thorough obituary of McClusky?

Thanks, BK

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  • 1 year later...

On October 31 1963 JFK arrived in Philadelphia and took an open air limo through the streets of Philadelphia to a Democratic Party fundraiser.

I think it was at this event that JFK is photographed talking with "Skinny" D'Amato, Sinatra's pal, owner of the 500 Club in Atlantic City (where the 1964 Democratic national convention would be held), and partner with Sam Giancana in the Cal-Neva Lodge, which had previously been partially owned by JFK's dad.

If McCluskey was such a big fundraiser that he was rewarded with the ambassadorship to Ireland, he must have pulled a lot of weight and had all the right connections.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On October 31 1963 JFK arrived in Philadelphia and took an open air limo through the streets of Philadelphia to a Democratic Party fundraiser.

I think it was at this event that JFK is photographed talking with "Skinny" D'Amato, Sinatra's pal, owner of the 500 Club in Atlantic City (where the 1964 Democratic national convention would be held), and partner with Sam Giancana in the Cal-Neva Lodge, which had previously been partially owned by JFK's dad.

If McCluskey was such a big fundraiser that he was rewarded with the ambassadorship to Ireland, he must have pulled a lot of weight and had all the right connections.

233 - Remarks at a Dinner Honoring Matthew McCloskey Upon His Appointment as Ambassador to Ireland.

June 9, 1962

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=8703

Also see:

http

://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1961...g=4969,4658530

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...38439-4,00.html

An interesting photo that include JFK's Navy aide Tazwell Shepard in a photo taken by Robert Knudsen, who processed and maybe took some autopsy photos:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JFK...ry_Memorial.jpg

KN-C29399 27 June 1963 President's Trip to Ireland. Wreath laying ceremony at Commodore John Barry Memorial. President Kennedy, Mayor of Wexford Thomas Burne, Minister of Extrenal Affairs of Ireland Frank Aiken, U. S. Ambassador to Ireland Matthew McCloskey, Naval Aide to the President Tazewell Shepard, others. Wexford, Ireland, Crescent Quay. Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

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On October 31 1963 JFK arrived in Philadelphia and took an open air limo through the streets of Philadelphia to a Democratic Party fundraiser.

I think it was at this event that JFK is photographed talking with "Skinny" D'Amato, Sinatra's pal, owner of the 500 Club in Atlantic City (where the 1964 Democratic national convention would be held), and partner with Sam Giancana in the Cal-Neva Lodge, which had previously been partially owned by JFK's dad.

If McCluskey was such a big fundraiser that he was rewarded with the ambassadorship to Ireland, he must have pulled a lot of weight and had all the right connections.

233 - Remarks at a Dinner Honoring Matthew McCloskey Upon His Appointment as Ambassador to Ireland.

June 9, 1962

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=8703

Also see:

http

://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1961...g=4969,4658530

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...38439-4,00.html

An interesting photo that include JFK's Navy aide Tazwell Shepard in a photo taken by Robert Knudsen, who processed and maybe took some autopsy photos:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JFK...ry_Memorial.jpg

KN-C29399 27 June 1963 President's Trip to Ireland. Wreath laying ceremony at Commodore John Barry Memorial. President Kennedy, Mayor of Wexford Thomas Burne, Minister of Extrenal Affairs of Ireland Frank Aiken, U. S. Ambassador to Ireland Matthew McCloskey, Naval Aide to the President Tazewell Shepard, others. Wexford, Ireland, Crescent Quay. Photograph by Robert Knudsen, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

I have been writing about Matthew H. McCloskey and Grant Stockdale this morning for my seminar in Canterbury on Sunday about both men's involvement with JFK and Bobby Baker. When I looked on the forum this afternoon there had been posts on both men. Both were forced to resign as Ambassador to Ireland because of their relationship with Baker. Interestingly, there is little on them on the internet (they are about the only two US ambassadors to Ireland that don't have Wikipedia biographies. Have you seen this picture of McCloskey with Harry Truman?

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