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Modern Political Archives (Special Collections): Estes Kefauver

Guide to the collections at the Modern Political Archives


Photograph of Estes Kefauver wearing his trademark coonskin cap

Photo by Francis Miller for Life Magazine

Estes Kefauver (1903-1963) was member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1939-1949), the U.S. Senate (1949-1963) and 1956 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate. During his years in the Senate, he served on the Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce (called the Kefauver committee, the televised hearings were enormously popular); voted for the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, and sponsored the Kefauver-Harris Drug Control Act of 1962. He lost favor among Southerners with his support of the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision to desegregate schools and when he and Albert Gore, Sr., were the only southern senators to refuse to sign the Southern Manifesto, intending to block school integration, in 1956. In 1952, he lost to Adlai Stevenson for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, but in 1956 he was Stevenson's Vice Presidential running mate.

Kefauver Digital Collections

Estes Kefauver: East Tennessee's Forgotten Presidential Candidate Images from the life, campaigns and career of Estes Kefauver.

Crime Documents from the Estes Kefauver Collection This digital collection includes press releases, speeches, article drafts, and government publications penned by Estes Kefauver and colleagues on the organized crime and juvenile delinquency commissions. Subjects include the causes and prevention of organized crime, gambling, and juvenile delinquency during the 1950s and early 1960s. Press releases tout committee milestones, government reports relate detailed data and testimony, and Kefauver’s own speeches reveal the fervent moral tone of his fight for the common good.

Kefauver Archival Collections

Estes Kefauver Papers, 1925 – 1967 (MPA.0144) Personal and political files of the senator, who was well-known in the 1950s for his popular televised hearings on organized crime as well as his presidential and vice-presidential campaigns in 1952 and 1956, respectively. Newspaper clippings, eulogies and condolences after Senator Kefauver’s death make up the portion of the collection dated 1963-1967.

Estes Kefauver Papers, 1952-1970 (MPA.0145) Tapes, newspaper clippings, and correspondence documenting Estes Kefauver's political career between 1952 and 1963.

Nancy Kefauver Papers, 1935-1971 (MPA.0146) The collection of Kefauver's wife, Nancy, houses a variety of material documenting Nancy and Estes' lives. The papers also contain information about Nancy's leadership of the Art in the Embassies Program. 

Samuel Ungerleider papers, circa 1944-1963 (MPA.0166) The papers of this New York broker and Kefauver friend is made up entirely of correspondence with and about Kefauver and newsclippings about the senator.

Howard P. Emerson, 1957-1970 (MPA.0167) Correspondence and writings concerning Kefauver as well as Emerson's involvement with TVA and career as professor of industrial engineering.

Noble C. Caudill Papers, 1955-1965 (MPA.0185) Materials about Kefauver's 1956 vice presidential campaign as well as his friendship with Caudill, a prominent businessman.

Charles Fontenay Papers, 1971 (MPA.0202) Drafts and correspondence with commentary of Fountenay's Kefauver biography.

Estes Kefauver Papers, 1943-1964 (MPA.0307)  Collection of correspondence between Kefauver and political figures, consolidated by dealers.

Crosley Broadcasting Corporation Transcript, circa 1955 (MPA.0339) Transcript of a broadcast featuring Kefauver.

Lucille Myers Papers, 1976-1977 (MPA.0171) Papers of Lucille Myers, a Kefauver staffer who along with former members of the Kefauver crime committee sought to dispel Seymour Hersh's allegation that Kefauver had been the victim of blackmail. 

Edmund Orgill Papers, 1963-1969 (MPA.0134) Correspondence and other material documenting Edmund Orgili's work with labor unions and the Estes Kefauver Memorial Foundation.

Federal Finance Letter, 1963 (MPA.0219)

Milk Industry Letter, 1960 (MPA.0220)

Other Kefauver Resources at UT Libraries

Standing up for the people; the life and work of Estes Kefauver / Harvey Swados, Hodges Library / Stacks: F436.K4 S9, Special Collections / Rare books: F436.K4 S9

 Kefauver: a political biography / Joseph Bruce Gorman, Hodges Library / Stacks: F436.K4 G6, Special Collections / Rare books: F436.K4 G6

[Kefauver miscellany. no. 1] [videorecording], Hodges Media Center / DVD - Request this Call Number at Circulation Desk: E748 .K314 K42

Political leadership in a period of transition : Frank G. Clement, Albert Gore, Estes Kefauver, and Tennessee politics, 1948-1956 / by James B. Gardner, Special Collections / Rare books: D24.V3517 A7258

The real voice. / Richard Harris, Hodges Library / Stacks: HD9666.6 .H3, Special Collections / Rare books: HD9666.6 .H3

The Kefauver story, by Jack Anderson and Fred Blumenthal., Hodges Library / Stacks: F436.K4 A6, Special Collections / Rare books: F436.K4 A6


United States Presidential Televised Debates of the 20th Century [electronic resource] / Kenneth Janda, University Electronic Library / Electronic resource:

Estes Kefauver and highlights of 1956 Democratic Convention. [videorecording], Hodges Media Center / DVD - Request this Call Number at Circulation Desk: E748 .K314 E8

Statesmen who were never president / edited by Kenneth W. Thompson., Hodges Library / Stacks: E176 .S8345 1996

Fighting words never delivered, proposed draft of Senator Kefauver’s acceptance speech. Edited by Richard M. Fried., Special Collections / Rare books: F436.K4 K4

Official report of the proceedings of the Democratic National convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through August 17, 1956, resulting in the re-nomination of Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois for president and in the nomination of Estes Kefauver of Tennessee for vice president. [Published under the direction of the Democratic National Committee; Paul M. Butler, chairman. Editors: Mrs. Ruth Aull and Dr. Daniel M. Ogden, Jr., Special Collections / Rare books: JK2313 1956

 [Estes Kefauver and Eleanor Roosevelt] [videorecording] / [Estes Kefauver and Eleanor Roosevelt ; issued by] Stevenson-Kefauver Campaign Committee., Hodges Media Center / DVD - Request this Call Number at Circulation Desk: E839 .K4

Senator Kefauver campaign issues [videorecording] / [Estes Kefauver], Hodges Media Center / DVD - Request this Call Number at Circulation Desk: E748 .K314 K4

Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) [electronic resource]., University Electronic Library / Electronic resource:

The Kefauver beacon. / Tennessee Kefauver for President Clubs, Special Collections / Rare books: F436 .K4 K44

The Kefauver call : a call to elect Sen. Estes Kefauver President of the United States., Special Collections / Rare books: F436 .K4 K45


The Kefauver Committee and the politics of crime, 1950-1952 / William Howard Moore, Special Collections / Rare books: HV6791 .M67

Crime in America / by Estes Kefauver, chairman of the Senate Crime Investigating Committee (May 10, 1950-May 1, 1951) Edited and with an introd. by Sidney Shalett., Hodges Library / Stacks: HV6775 .K4, Special Collections / Rare books: HV6775 .K4

Congress investigates [electronic resource] : a critical and documentary history / edited by Roger A. Bruns, David L. Hostetter, Raymond W. Smock ; Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies., University Electronic Library / Electronic book: JK1123.A2 B78 2011

Substance abuse in America : a documentary and reference guide / James A. Swartz, Hodges Library / Stacks: HV4999.2 .S93 2012

Mob culture : hidden histories of the American gangster film / edited by Lee Grieveson, Esther Sonnet, and Peter Stanfield, Hodges Library / Stacks: PN1995.9.G3 M63 2005

Was Estes Kefauver "blackmailed" during the Chicago crime hearings? : a historian’s perspective / William Howard Moore, Special Collections / Rare books: HV6791 .M68 1982

Congress Investigates: A Documented History Schlesinger, Arthur Meier and Roger Bruns, eds. Volume 5. JK1123.A2 S34 

The Kefauver crime investigation [videorecording] / narrated by Joe King., Hodges Media Center / VHS (Area 2) - Request this Call Number at Circulation Desk: HV6791 .K4 1951


Senator Estes Kefauver and the 1952 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary / Joseph Bruce Gorman, Special Collections;Thesis / Dissertation:Thesis64.G675

A rhetorical analysis of selected speeches by Estes Kefauver / Rhea Gallaher, Special Collections / Thesis / Dissertation: Thesis70.G244, Hoskins Storage / Thesis / Dissertation (Blount Hall): Thesis70.G244 

 A rhetorical criticism of selected speeches of Estes Kefauver. / Patricia Lee Sutherland, Special Collections / Thesis / Dissertation: Thesis69.S883, Hoskins Storage / Thesis / Dissertation (Blount Hall): Thesis69.S883


The Celler-Kefauver Act : the first 27 years : a study / prepared by Willard F. Mueller, for the use of the Subcommittee on Monopolies and Commercial Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-fifth Congress, second session, Hoskins Storage / SUDOC microfiche: Y 4.J 89/1:C 33/2

Third interim report of the Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce : pursuant to S. Res. 202, (81st Congress) a resolution to investigate gambling and racketeering activities., Special Collections / Rare books: HV6775 .A533 1951

Investigation of organized crime in interstate commerce : hearings before a Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce. , Special Collections / Rare books: HV6775 .A53

Memorial services held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, together with remarks presented in eulogy of Carey Estes Kefauver, late a Senator from Tennessee., Hodges Library / Stacks: E748.K314 U5, Special Collections / Rare books: E748.K314 U5


In a few hands: monopoly power in America [by] Estes Kefauver, with the assistance of Irene Till. / Special Collections / Rare books: HD2785 .K38 1966, Hodges Library / Stacks: HD2785 .K38

A program for progressive democracy : extension of remarks of Hon. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee in the Senate of the United States, Tuesday, July 1, 1952 / Estes Kefauver. , Special Collections / Rare books: HC106.5 .K412 1952

Past and present standards of public ethics in America : are we improving? / by Estes Kefauver., Special Collections / Rare books: BJ252 .K44 1952

What we learned in public administration during the war; lectures by J. Donald Kingsley [and others],  Hodges Library / Stacks: JK411 .A52 1949

A twentieth-century Congress, by Estes Kefauver and Dr. Jack Levin; foreword by Robert M. La Follette, jr., Hodges Library / Stacks: JK1061 .K4, Special Collections / Rare books: JK1061 .K4

Subject Guide

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Kris Bronstad
Baker Center
Rm 224
1640 Cumberland Avenue
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3340