Moynihan, Daniel P(atrick) 1927-2003

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MOYNIHAN, Daniel P(atrick) 1927-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 16, 1927, in Tulsa, OK; died from complications after suffering a ruptured appendix March 26, 2003, in Washington, DC. Politician, educator, and author. Moynihan was a neoconservative Democrat who was a former U.S. senator for New York, ambassador to India, and a presidential advisor. He served as a gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1947, after which he completed a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. in 1949 and Ph.D. in 1961 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His entrance into politics began in the 1950s when he was an assistant to the governor of New York's secretary, but he moved toward an academic career when he joined Syracuse University as the director of the New York State Government Research Project in 1959, followed by a year as an assistant professor of political science. During the early 1960s he returned to government, working in several assistant roles in the U.S. Department of Labor. After an unsuccessful run for president of the New York City Council in 1965 and working in the mayoral campaign for Abraham Beame, Moynihan once again returned to academia as a fellow at Wesleyan University. He then spent ten years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the Joint Center for Urban Studies from 1966 to 1969 before becoming a professor of government in 1972. He was concurrently a professor at Harvard University, where he taught at the Kennedy School of Government. From 1969 to 1970 he also was a U.S. government advisor on urban affairs, and from 1973 to 1975 was an ambassador to India; this was followed by a year as an ambassador to the United Nations. In 1977 Moynihan was elected to the U.S. Senate for his state of New York, winning reelection several times before he retired in 2000. While serving in the senate he earned a reputation as a "neoconservative" Democrat who demonstrated both an earnest concern for the poor and a strong, conservative stand against the Soviet Union. His other concerns included what he saw as a crisis in the dissolution of the traditional American family and the decay of urban centers; he also advocated changes in welfare and Social Security to benefit the underprivileged. The year he retired, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Medal of Freedom for his public service. Even after he retired, Moynihan continued to work for politicians on both the Democratic and Republican sides; he campaigned for his replacement in the senate, Hilary Clinton, and worked on President George W. Bush's Social Security commission. In addition to his active political service, Moynihan was also the author of almost two dozen books, including The Assault on Poverty (1965), The Politics of Guaranteed Income: The Nixon Administration and the Family Assistance Plan (1973), Family and a Nation: The Godkin Lectures, Harvard University (1986), and Secrecy: The American Experience (1998).



Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa, The Almanac of American Politics, National Journal (Washington, DC), 1999.

Congressional Directory. 106th Congress, 1999-2000, United States Government Printing Office (Washington, DC), 1999.

Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.


Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2003, section 1, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2003, p. B16.

New York Times, March 27, 2003, pp. A1, A22.

Times (London, England), March 28, 2003.

Washington Post, March 27, 2003, pp. A1, A6.