Bailey looked and often acted like the traditional ward politician. Tall and rumpled with an ever-present cigar in his mouth, his glasses pushed up on his forehead and speaking in a hoarse confidential tone, he was at home in the smoke-filled rooms of convention hotels. He was an artist at balancing a ticket to conform to Connecticut’s ethnic composition. He worked hard at disguising the facts that he was the son of a well-to-do-physician, had been educated at Catholic University and Harvard Law School, and maintained a lucrative Hartford law practice. Yet in reality he was a new-style boss who combined mastery of parochial political detail with astute knowledge of the legislative process and enough national vision to become one of the members of President Kennedy’s inner circle of advisors.” (CT Heritage Gateway, entry by Herbert F. Janick,

The collection of the Democratic giant from Connecticut , John M. Bailey, is now available at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Bailey worked for John F. Kennedy’s successful presidential campaign in 1960, and then went on to serve as chairman of the National Democratic Party from 1961-1968. The collection includes boxes of correspondence from the 1960s including letters with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, speeches at numerous conferences nationwide, as well as photographs, press releases, and travel schedules.

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