Endicott Peabody

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Endicott Peabody
Endicott Peabody Gov.jpg
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
Member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council for the 3rd District
In office
Preceded by Otis Whitney
Succeeded by Christian A. Herter, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1920-02-15)February 15, 1920
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Died December 1, 1997(1997-12-01) (aged 77)
Hollis, New Hampshire
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Barbara Welch Gibbons
(1944-1997, his death)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Episcopalian
Awards Silver Star
Presidential Unit Citation
Military service
Service/branch  United States Navy
Battles/wars World War II

Endicott Peabody (February 15, 1920 – December 1, 1997) was the 62nd Governor of Massachusetts, serving a single two-year term from January 3, 1963 to January 7, 1965.

Early life

Endicott Peabody, nicknamed "Chub", was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to Mary Elizabeth (née Parkman) and Rev. Malcolm Endicott Peabody, former Episcopal Bishop of Central New York. He was a grandson of the founder of the Groton School and Brooks School, also named Endicott Peabody. He earned his B.A. from Harvard College in 1942. An All-American star defensive lineman for the Harvard Crimson football team, he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Peabody served in the United States Navy during World War II. He received the Silver Star for gallantry for service as a Lieutenant aboard the USS Tirante in the Pacific Ocean theater.[1][2]

After the war Peabody attended Harvard Law School, receiving his J.D. degree and attaining admission to the Massachusetts bar in 1948. He was Assistant Regional Counsel for the Office of Price Stabilization and Regional Counsel for the Small Defense Plants Administration in the early 1950s. From 1954 to 1956 he served on the Massachusetts Governor's Council. During the 1960 presidential election he coordinated John F. Kennedy's campaigns in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire[3]

Tenure as Governor

In the Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 1962, Peabody was elected Governor, upsetting Republican incumbent John Volpe by only 4,431 votes out of over two million cast.

During his administration, voters approved a state constitutional amendment extending the terms of office of all state constitutional offices from two years to four years, starting from election. Peabody advocated laws to prevent discrimination in housing and to establish drug addiction treatment programs. He also strongly opposed capital punishment and "vowed that he would not sign a death warrant even for the Boston Strangler, if he were ever caught and convicted."[4]

In September 1964, Peabody was defeated in the Democratic primary by Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti and, therefore, did not stand for election to a second term.[3]

On April 1, 1964, a front-page news story occurred 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, which made her 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, entitled Four for Freedom.

Peabody is remembered for recommending the commutation of every death sentence that he reviewed while he served as governor between 1963 and 1965,[5] in connection with his efforts to get the legislature to abolish the death penalty.[6]

In 1964 fellow Democrat Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti defeated him in the Democratic primary and then lost the general election to Volpe.

Senate campaign

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.

1972 vice presidential election

Peabody undertook an extremely quixotic campaign for Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1972;[7] 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."

New Hampshire

In 1983, he moved to Hollis, New Hampshire, where he ran unsuccessfully for local and statewide political office several times, including a 1986 senatorial campaign against Republican Warren Rudman. He died from leukemia in 1997 in Hollis, New Hampshire, aged 77. His remains were interred in Groton, Massachusetts.


Peabody was a descendant of the colonial Massachusetts governor John Endecott.

On June 24, 1944 he married Barbara Welch "Toni" Gibbons (1922–2012), a native of Bermuda, the elder daughter of Morris Gibbons, a member of the Parliament of Bermuda, and his wife, the former Maude Madge Welch. Peabody and his wife had a daughter, Barbara, and two sons, Robert and Endicott Jr.[8]

Peabody's sister, Marietta Peabody Tree represented the United States on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[9]

Navy Awards


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John A. Volpe
Governor of Massachusetts
January 3, 1963 – January 7, 1965
Succeeded by
John A. Volpe