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The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Estes Kefauver’s Personal Approach to Politics

A Brown Bag Lecture about Estes Kefauver will be presented by Theodore Brown, Jr. at noon on Thursday, October 15 at the East Tennessee History Center. This will be Part II of a 2-part series.

Estes Kefauver was a tireless campaigner not only for his own political career, but also on behalf of the public interest. In a Brown Bag lecture on October 15, Theodore Brown, Jr. will explore the sources of Kefauver’s approach to politics, the motivations behind his congressional investigations, and the methods he used in taking progressive positions on controversial public-policy issues, such as civil rights and civil liberties, while consistently winning re-election despite strong, well-financed opposition. This is the second lecture in a two-part series by Brown on Kefauver.

A native of Madisonville, Tennessee, Carey Estes Kefauver (1903-1963) was one of the most influential senators of his time. He rose to national prominence through his work as chair of a United States Senate crime investigation committee, and in 1956 was the Democratic candidate for vice president on a ticket headed by Senator Adlai Stephenson.

Theodore Brown, Jr. is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science and an adjunct professor of law in the College of Law, University of Tennessee. He has written several articles about Senator Kefauver, the law, and Tennessee legal and political history, and contributed to several works, including the book, A History of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and is coeditor, along with Professor James W. Ely, Jr., of Legal Papers of Andrew Jackson (University of Tennessee Press, 1987). Brown’s interest in Estes Kefauver developed from his time as an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he organized and catalogued Senator Kefauver’s papers.

The program is sponsored by 21st Mortgage and is free. Everyone is invited. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Published October 8, 2015

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