Guy Gabrielson

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Guy Gabrielson
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
In office
Preceded by Hugh Scott
Succeeded by Arthur Summerfield
Personal details
Born (1891-05-22)May 22, 1891
Sioux Rapids, Iowa
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Political party Republican

Guy George Gabrielson (May 22, 1891 – May 1, 1976) was a Republican politician from New Jersey. He served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1949 to 1952, and was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1925 to 1929, and was its Speaker in 1929.

An attorney who later became a corporate executive, after leaving elective politics, Gabrielson turned to Republican politics. He rose through the ranks of Republican activists. He became a member of the Republican National Committee in 1944 and its chairman in 1948, leaving both posts in 1952.

Gabrielson was controversial at the 1952 Republican National Convention because of his support for presidential hopeful Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft, but was greeted with cheers when he opened the Convention.

After dissolving his law firm in 1959, Gabrielson served as a corporate executive, retaining several posts in the years before his 1976 death.

Early life and career

Gabrielson was born May 22, 1891 in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, the son of Frank A. Gabrielson and Ida (Janson) Gabrielson. In 1918, Gabrielson had married Cora Speer.[1]

A lawyer in private life, he was also politically active in New Jersey, serving in the state's General Assembly from 1925 to 1929, and as Speaker during the 1929 session. Gabrielson lost his seat as the Depression triggered an increasing Democratic wave.[2]

Republican politics

With few prospects in elective politics, he turned to Republican politics and became Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey in 1948. He was then elected Chairman of the RNC in 1949.

In a 1950 article in The New York Times[3] in the wake of McCarthyism,[4] he said homosexuals working for the American government were "perhaps as dangerous as actual Communists".[5]

In 1951, Gabrielson became embroiled in a loan scandal, and freshman Senator Richard Nixon (R-Calif.) called for his ouster, as well as that of Democratic National Committee chairman William M. Boyle, a close ally of President Harry S. Truman, who had a similar loan involvement. Nixon feared Gabrielson would favor California's senior senator, William F. Knowland for any national office, and desired his ouster to clear his own path to higher office.[6] Boyle resigned, Gabrielson, whose offense was much more that of appearance, did not resign.[7] Because of the enmity between Gabrielson and Nixon, the senator's name was never entered for formal consideration as a keynote speaker at the convention.[8] Gabrielson would also be one of the few Republican politicians not to offer him support after Nixon, by then the Republican Vice-presidential candidate, placed his fate in the hands of the RNC in the Checkers speech, saying that Nixon's speech (which he had not heard) did not "make sense" because it would take ten days to assemble the RNC.[9]

Gabrielson supported Taft at the 1952 convention, and the Eisenhower forces were afraid he would tilt the close convention for the Ohio senator. However, when the chairman came forward to open the convention, both sides burst into a round of applause for Gabrielson.[2]

Later life

The 1952 convention ended Gabrielson's time as RNC chairman, and he stepped down in favor of Arthur Summerfield. He left his position as committeeman from New Jersey at the end of 1952.

In 1959, Gabrielson retired from his legal practice, dissolving his firm. In his retirement, he worked for several corporations or served on their boards. He had lived from 1940 to 1975 in Bernardsville, New Jersey; he then moved to the seaside community of Mantoloking.

He died in Point Pleasant, New Jersey on May 1, 1976, having outlived Cora Gabrielson by three years, and was survived by a son and daughter.[2]


  1. "Gabrielson, Guy George". Political Graveyard. Retrieved February 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Guy Gabrielson, GOP Figure, Dies. National Chairman in 1952 and a Jersey Leader, 84", The New York Times, May 2, 1976, retrieved 2009-06-02, Guy George Gabrielson, who as Republican national chairman opened the 1952 Republican National Convention in Chicago that nominated General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower for the Presidency, died yesterday at Point Pleasant (N.J.) Hospital. He was 84 years old. ...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. New York Times, April 19, 1950, page 25
  4. Paul Lyons, The New Censors: Movies and the Culture Wars, Temple University Press, 1997, page 110
  5. Lee Edelman, Homographesis: essays in gay literary and cultural theory, Routledge, New York & London, 1994, page 156
  6. Morris 1990, pp. 643–44.
  7. Gellman 1999, pp. 377–78.
  8. Gellman 1999, p. 423.
  9. "Nixon Replies Tax Phone, Wire Lines. Most G.O.P. Leaders Voice Approval, but Gabrielson Is Critical, Lodge Silent", The New York Times, September 24, 1952, retrieved 2009-06-02, Senator Richard M. Nixon's radio and television appeal for voters to wire the Republican National Committee has met with wide and apparently favorable response -- at least from those on the Republican side of the fence.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (fee for article)


  • Gellman, Irwin (1999), The Contender, The Free Press, ISBN 1-4165-7255-4<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Morris, Roger (1990), Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician, Henry Holt and Company, ISBN 0-8050-1834-4<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Hugh Scott
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
1949 - 1952
Succeeded by
Arthur Summerfield