Barry Goldwater

Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater photo1962.jpg
Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byJohn Tower
Succeeded bySam Nunn
Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1985
Preceded byBirch Bayh
Succeeded byDavid Durenberger
United States Senator
from Arizona
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byCarl Hayden
Succeeded byJohn McCain
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1965
Preceded byErnest McFarland
Succeeded byPaul Fannin
Personal details
Barry Morris Goldwater

(1909-01-02)January 2, 1909
Phoenix, Territory of Arizona, U.S.
DiedMay 29, 1998(1998-05-29) (aged 89)
Paradise Valley, Arizona, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Margaret Johnson
(m. 1934; died 1985)

Susan Schaffer Wechsler (m. 1992)
Children4, including Barry
EducationUniversity of Arizona
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army (1941–1947)
 United States Air Force (1947–1967)
Years of service1941–1945 (USAAF)
1945–1952 (ANG)
1952–1967 (USAFR)
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel (USAAF)
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel (ANG)
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General (USAFR)
UnitU.S. Army Air Forces
Arizona Air National Guard
U.S. Air Force Reserve
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War

Barry Morris Goldwater (January 2, 1909[1] – May 29, 1998) was an American politician, businessman, and author who was a five-term Senator from Arizona (1953–1965, 1969–1987) and the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States in 1964. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.[2]

Goldwater rejected the legacy of the New Deal and fought with the conservative coalition against the New Deal coalition. Although he had supported earlier civil rights legislation, he notably opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as he believed it to be an overreach by the federal government. In 1964, Goldwater mobilized a large conservative constituency to win the hard-fought Republican presidential primaries. Although raised as an Episcopalian,[3] Goldwater was the first candidate of ethnically Jewish heritage to be nominated for President by a major American party (his father was Jewish).[4][5] Goldwater's platform ultimately failed to gain the support of the electorate[6] and he lost the 1964 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. Goldwater returned to the Senate in 1969 and specialized in defense and foreign policy. As an elder statesman of the party, Goldwater successfully urged President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974 when evidence of a cover-up in the Watergate scandal became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent.

Goldwater's views grew more libertarian as he reached the end of his career; he retired from the Senate in 1987. A significant accomplishment of his career was the passage of the Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986. He was succeeded by John McCain, who praised his predecessor as the man who "transformed the Republican Party from an Eastern elitist organization to the breeding ground for the election of Ronald Reagan." Goldwater strongly supported the 1980 presidential campaign of Reagan, who had become the standard-bearer of the conservative movement after his "A Time for Choosing" speech. Reagan reflected many of the principles of Goldwater's earlier run in his campaign. The Washington Post columnist George Will took note of this, writing: "We [...] who voted for him in 1964 believe he won, it just took 16 years to count the votes."

After leaving the Senate, Goldwater's views cemented as libertarian. He criticized the "moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others [in the Republican Party] who are trying to...make a religious organization out of it." He lobbied for homosexuals to be able to serve openly in the military, opposed the Clinton administration's plan for health care reform, and supported abortion rights and the legalization of medicinal marijuana. In 1997, Goldwater was revealed to be in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He died one year later at the age of 89.

Personal life

Goldwater was born in Phoenix in what was then the Arizona Territory, the son of Baron M. Goldwater and his wife, Hattie Josephine "JoJo" Williams. His father's family had founded Goldwater's, a leading upscale department store in Phoenix.[7] Goldwater's paternal grandfather, Michel Goldwasser, a Polish Jew, was born in 1821 in Konin, part of Russia 1793–1919, whence he immigrated to London following the Revolutions of 1848. Soon after arriving in London, he anglicized his name from Goldwasser to Goldwater. Michel married Sarah Nathan, a member of an English Jewish family, in the Great Synagogue of London.[8][9]

His father was Jewish and his mother, who was Episcopalian, came from a New England family that included the theologian Roger Williams of Rhode Island.[10] Goldwater's parents were married in an Episcopal church in Phoenix; for his entire life, Goldwater was an Episcopalian, though on rare occasions he referred to himself as Jewish.[11] While he did not often attend church, he stated that "If a man acts in a religious way, an ethical way, then he's really a religious man—and it doesn't have a lot to do with how often he gets inside a church."[12][13][14]

After he did poorly as a freshman in high school, Goldwater's parents sent him to Staunton Military Academy in Virginia where he played varsity football, basketball, track and swimming, was senior class treasurer and attained the rank of captain.[11][15] He graduated from the academy in 1928 and enrolled the University of Arizona.[15][16] Goldwater dropped out of college after one year. He is the most recent non-college graduate to be the nominee of a major political party in a presidential election. Goldwater entered the family's business around the time of his father's death in 1930. Six years later, he took over the department store, though he was not particularly enthused about running the business.[11]


In 1934, he married Margaret "Peggy" Johnson, daughter of a prominent industrialist from Muncie, Indiana. They had four children: Joanne (born January 18, 1936), Barry (born July 15, 1938), Michael (born March 15, 1940), and Peggy (born July 27, 1944). Goldwater became a widower in 1985, and in 1992 he married Susan Wechsler, a nurse 32 years his junior.[17]

Goldwater's son Barry Goldwater Jr. served as a United States House of Representatives member from California from 1969 to 1983.

Goldwater's uncle Morris Goldwater (1852–1939) was an Arizona territorial and state legislator, mayor of Prescott, Arizona, and a businessman.[18]

Goldwater's grandson Ty Ross, a former Zoli model, is openly gay and HIV positive, and the one who inspired the elder Goldwater "to become an octogenarian proponent of gay civil rights".[19]

Military career

With the American entry into World War II, Goldwater received a reserve commission in the United States Army Air Forces. He became a pilot assigned to the Ferry Command, a newly formed unit that flew aircraft and supplies to war zones worldwide. He spent most of the war flying between the U.S. and India, via the Azores and North Africa or South America, Nigeria, and Central Africa. He also flew "the hump" over the Himalayas to deliver supplies to the Republic of China.

Following World War II, Goldwater was a leading proponent of creating the United States Air Force Academy, and later served on the Academy's Board of Visitors. The visitor center at the Academy is now named in his honor. As a colonel he also founded the Arizona Air National Guard, and he would desegregate it two years before the rest of the U.S. military. Goldwater was instrumental in pushing the Pentagon to support desegregation of the armed services.[20]

Remaining in the Arizona Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve after the war, he eventually retired as a Command Pilot with the rank of major general.[21] By that time, he had flown 165 different types of aircraft. As an Air Force Reserve major general, he continued piloting aircraft, to include the B-52 Stratofortress, until late in his military career.

As a U.S. Senator, Goldwater had a sign in his office that referenced his military career and mindset: "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots."[22]


Goldwater ran track and cross country in high school, where he specialized in the 880 yard run. His parents strongly encouraged him to compete in these sports, to his dismay. He often went by the nickname of "Rolling Thunder".[citation needed]

In 1940, Goldwater became one of the first people to run the Colorado River recreationally through Grand Canyon participating as an oarsman on Norman Nevills' second commercial river trip. Goldwater joined them in Green River, Utah, and rowed his own boat down to Lake Mead.[23] In 1970 the Arizona Historical Foundation published the daily journal Goldwater had maintained on the Grand Canyon journey, including his photographs, in a 209-page volume titled Delightful Journey.

In 1963 he joined the Arizona Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and Sigma Chi fraternity. He belonged to both the York Rite and Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and was awarded the 33rd degree in the Scottish Rite.

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: بری قلدواتر
беларуская: Бары Голдуатэр
български: Бари Голдуотър
čeština: Barry Goldwater
español: Barry Goldwater
français: Barry Goldwater
Bahasa Indonesia: Barry Morris Goldwater
italiano: Barry Goldwater
Kiswahili: Barry Goldwater
Nederlands: Barry Goldwater
português: Barry Goldwater
română: Barry Goldwater
Simple English: Barry Goldwater
српски / srpski: Бари Голдвотер
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Barry Goldwater
українська: Баррі Голдвотер