O'MAHONEY, Joseph Christopher (1884-1962)

O'MAHONEY, JOSEPH CHRISTOPHER, a Senator from Wyoming; born in Chelsea, Suffolk County, Mass., November 5, 1884; attended the parochial and public schools and Columbia University, New York City; moved to Boulder, Colo., in 1908 and engaged as a reporter on the Boulder Herald; moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., in 1916 and served as city editor of the Cheyenne State Leader; executive secretary to Senator John B. Kendrick 1917-1920; graduated from the Georgetown University Law School, Washington, D.C., in 1920; admitted to the bar in 1920 and commenced practice in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Washington, D.C.; member of conference on uniform State laws 1925-1926; city attorney of Cheyenne, Wyo., 1929-1931; Democratic national committeeman 1929-1934; appointed First Assistant Postmaster General in 1933, and served until December 31, 1933, when he resigned to become a Senator; appointed on December 18, 1933, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John B. Kendrick, and elected on November 6, 1934, to fill this vacancy and also for the term commencing January 3, 1935; reelected in 1940 and again in 1946, and served from January 1, 1934, to January 3, 1953; chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Seventy-eighth and Seventy-ninth Congresses), Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses), co-chairman, Joint Committee on the Economic Report (Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952; elected on November 2, 1954, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Lester C. Hunt, and also elected for the full term commencing January 3, 1955, and served from November 29, 1954, to January 3, 1961; was not a candidate for renomination in 1960; resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., and Cheyenne, Wyo.; died in the naval hospital, Bethesda, Md., December 1, 1962; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Columbia University
Oral History Project
New York, NY
Oral History: 1958. 57 pages. Reminiscences including boyhood in Massachusetts and New York, education at Columbia, work as journalist in Colorado and Wyoming, Wyoming politics, impressions of Senator John Kendrick and James A. Farley, and the 1932 presidential campaign.

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 letter (1957) in Lewis Mumford papers, 1905-1987.

University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
Laramie, WY
Papers: 1866-1963 (bulk 1920-1960). 398.95 cubic feet. Primarily senatorial papers including correspondence, speeches, news releases and clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, maps, artifacts, memorabilia, campaign materials, and audio visual materials. There are legislative and resource files that contain bill proposals, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other printed materials about legislative issues. There are committee files with information from committees on which Senator O’Mahoney served. The papers also contain legal case files and correspondence from his law firm and correspondence while Mr. O’Mahoney was First Assistant Postmaster General. There is a small amount of correspondence, photographs, maps, and memorabilia about his personal life. Portions of the collection are digitized. Finding aid available at http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah00275.xml


Wyoming State Archives
Cheyenne, WY
Papers: Miscellaneous items.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In John Collier papers, 1910-1987; and Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972.

  • Coombs, Frank Alan. "Joseph Christopher O'Mahoney: The New Deal Years.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1968.
  • Gressley, Gene M. "Joseph C. O'Mahoney, FDR, and the Supreme Court.'' Pacific Historical Review 40 (May 1971): 183-202.
  • Moore, Carl. "Joseph Christopher O'Mahoney: A Brief Biography.'' Annals of Wyoming 41 (October 1969): 159-86.
  • Ninneman, Thomas Richard. "Joseph C. O'Mahoney: The New Deal and the Court Fight.'' Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wyoming, 1972.
  • ___. "Wyoming's Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney.'' Annals of Wyoming 49 (Fall 1977): 193-222.
  • Voigt, Barton R. "Joseph C. O'Mahoney and the 1952 Senate Election in Wyoming.'' Annals of Wyoming 45 (Fall 1973): 177-224.