U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 4th District 1949-1959
U.S. Senator from Minnesota 1959-1971

EUGENE McCARTHY was a seminal figure in Minnesota and national politics in the last half of the 20th century.  He inspired a generation of young people, caused fundamental reforms of the political process and transformed the landscape of American politics.

Eugene McCarthy's legacy as a public figure is rich and complex. Grounded in the values and ideals of Christian tradition and a deep understanding of American history, it spans politics, philosophy and poetry. From his first years in the House of Representatives to his service in the Senate, he was known for idealism and intellect expressed with great wit and eloquence.  His early opposition to the war in Vietnam marked him as a man of honesty and integrity and inspired an entire generation to become actively involved in the political and civic life of our country. His courageous actions were guided by intellectual rigor and spiritual reflection, and he brought the energy of imagination, through poetry and storytelling, into the public sphere.

He not only held strong convictions on the importance of social justice and political morality born of his Catholic, Benedictine orientation, he lived out his convictions through political leadership on behalf of all peoples, regardless of religion, race or economic status.  He was, above all, committed to the ideals and principles of democratic self-government.

source: The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement