Estes Kefauver Selected as Vice Presidential Candidate
In 1956, US Senator and alumnus Carey Estes Kefauver was selected by the Democratic National Convention to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. After they lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket, Senator Kefauver was named chair of the US Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee in 1957, a position he held until his death in 1963. In 1950, Kefauver headed a US Senate committee investigating organized crime. Officially known as the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce, it was popularly known as the Kefauver Committee. Hearings were held in 14 cities, and many of the witnesses were well-known crime bosses (for example Frank Costello). The hearings, televised live as many Americans were first buying televisions, made Kefauver nationally famous and introduced many Americans to the workings of the Mafia. In 1951, when Kefauver was a celebrity guest on the game show What’s My Line? he discussed the hearings briefly with the panel. Before he was a senator, Kefauver had served five terms in the US House of Representatives. He graduated from UT in 1924 with a bachelor of arts degree. He was an editor and reporter for the Orange and White student newspaper from 1921-1924, junior class president in 1923, president of the All Students’ Club in 1924, and a tackle and guard on the Volunteers football team. The Estes Kefauver wing of Hoskins Library was taken down in 2019 due to structural issues, but it had been home to an exhibit that recreated his office in Washington. The Kefauver archival collection is in the Modern Political Archives.