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McDermott, Edward A.



  • Existence: 1920-1999

Edward A. McDermott was born on June 28, 1920, in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from Dubuque's Loras College in 1939, and earned his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1942. In the early 1950s he served as Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections. McDermott practiced law in both Chicago and Dubuque. While he was engaged in his law practice in Dubuque, he was also on the faculties of Loras and Clarke Colleges where he taught business law and economics.   McDermott was active in Democratic politics at both the state and national levels. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1952, 1960, and 1964, and was a member of Iowa's Democratic Central Committee from 1956-1960. He was co-chairman of Iowans for Kennedy in 1960. In the 1960s, McDermott was appointed to a number of different posts in Washington, D.C. In 1961, he was deputy director and later acting director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. In 1962 he was nominated by President Kennedy (and unanimously confirmed by the Senate) to serve as the director of the Office of Emergency Planning in the Executive Office of the President. As director of the OEP, he was also a member of the National Security Council and represented the United States at various NATO committee meetings. He also served as the chairman of the Executive Stockpile Committee and as the chairman of the Committee on Assumptions for Nonmilitary Planning. He also served as a member of the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission for Alaska in 1964.   Edward A. McDermott died on May 12, 1999.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Edward A. McDermott Papers

Identifier: msc0241
Abstract Lawyer, co-chairman of Iowans for Kennedy (1960), and director of the Office of Emergency Planning, 1962-1965. Reports, speeches, press releases, subject files, and correspondence relating to his career in government service during the 1960s.