Barry Morris Goldwater

Barry Morris Goldwater

[gohld-waw-ter, -wot-er]
Goldwater, Barry Morris, 1909-98, U.S. senator (1953-65, 1969-87), b. Phoenix, Ariz. He studied at the Univ. of Arizona, but left in 1929 to enter his family's department-store business. After noncombat service in World War II, he won election to the Phoenix city council. In the U.S. Senate, Goldwater advocated state right-to-work laws, a reduction of public ownership of utilities, and decreases in welfare and foreign aid appropriations. He attacked subversive activities and opposed the senatorial censure of Joseph R. McCarthy. Goldwater became the acknowledged leader of the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party. In 1964, as the Republican presidential nominee, he was decisively defeated by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Nonetheless, many believe that Goldwater initiated a conservative revolution in Republican politics and American public opinion that ultimately led to the election (1980) of President Ronald Reagan. Goldwater was again elected to the Senate in 1968, 1974, and 1980. In his later years, Goldwater, basically libertarian, often clashed with cultural conservatives. He wrote The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), Why Not Victory? (1962), The Conscience of a Majority (1970), and Goldwater (1988) with Jack Casserly. His son Barry Morris Goldwater, Jr., 1938-, b. Los Angeles, was a U.S. congressman from California (1968-83).

See biographies by L. Edwards (1995) and R. A. Goldberg (1995); studies by K. Hess (1967), J. H. Kessel (1968), and R. Perlstein (2001).

(born Jan. 1, 1909, Phoenix, Airz., U.S.—died May 29, 1998, Paradise Valley, Ariz.) U.S. senator. He headed the family department-store business from 1937, and during World War II he was a U.S. Air Force pilot (1941–45). A Republican, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1952, and he quickly established himself as a strong conservative, calling for a harsh diplomatic stance toward the Soviet Union, opposing arms-control negotiations with that country, and accusing the Democrats of creating a quasi-socialist state at home. In 1964 he won the Republican nomination for president but lost the election to Democratic Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson largely because of popular fears that Goldwater would provoke a nuclear war with the Soviets. Returning to the Senate (1969–87), he helped persuade Richard Nixon to resign in 1974. Goldwater moderated many of his views in later years, and he became a symbol of high-minded conservatism.

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