Blair Moody Papers

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Blair Moody Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Blair Moody Papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Detroit newspaperman and United States Senator from Michigan. Correspondence chiefly concerning his 1952 senatorial campaign and his newspaper work in the United States and abroad during World War II; scrapbooks of newspaper articles written by Moody and published for the most part in the

Arthur Edson Blair Moody was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on February 13, 1902, the son of Arthur Edson Blair and Julia (Downey) Moody. He attended public schools in Providence, Rhode Island, and was graduated from Brown University in 1922, with a B.A. degree in economics. Following graduation from college, he taught and coached for one year at the Moses Brown School in Providence, and in 1923 became an employee of the Detroit News. At first a sportswriter, Moody afterward covered the Detroit City Hall as a reporter during the mayoralty administration of Frank Murphy.

In 1933 Blair Moody became a correspondent in the Washington office of the News, writing the column "The Lowdown on Washington". He also wrote for the Boston Globe, and was correspondent for Barron's from 1934 to 1948 and for the North American Newspaper Alliance since 1936. During World War II Moody served as a war correspondent in North Africa, Italy, Iran, and Britain, and after the war visited the Marshall Plan and North Atlantic Treaty countries to report on economic progress there. Beginning in 1946 he moderated the radio and television program Meet Your Congress, and from 1944 to 1945 he was economic consultant for the Committee for Economic Development.

Appointed to the United States Senate on April 23, 1951, by Michigan's Democratic Governor G. Mennen Williams, Blair Moody filled the vacancy created by the death of Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg on April 18, 1951. The late Senator's term would have ended January 3,1953.

On taking his oath of office the new Senator indicated that in 1952 he would be a candidate for a full six-year term. Stating that he hitherto had not belonged to any party, he said he became a Democrat on the day of his appointment to the Senate by Governor Williams. On becoming a Senator, Moody resigned from the Detroit News, but continued for a time his weekly radio program.

In the Senate Moody was named to the Senate Banking and Currency Committee and the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, for which he was deemed well suited because of his background in economics. In July 1951, two months after taking office, Moody was named to head the subcommittee of the Senate Small Business Committee, set up to protect the interests of small business in the defense program. He immediately announced that as its first project the subcommittee would study the problem of steel cutbacks in the automobile industry, steel shortages among small businessmen, and unemployment traceable to plant dispersals. On the subject of controls against inflation the Michigan legislator took a firm stand in supporting the Administration's drive to strengthen and extend controls. In August Moody was appointed to a special subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee, which conducted hearings on a proposal to restore the Government's power to set slaughtering quotas for livestock.

Moody sought election to the Senate in his own right, but was defeated by Charles E. Potter. In 1954 he again sought the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held by Homer Ferguson. He died unexpectedly while campaigning July 20, 1954.

Blair Moody was the author of a book Boom or Bust (1941), a discussion of the economic aspects of World War II, in which he proposed a constructive program to prevent inflation and postwar economic collapse. Moody was a member of the Gridiron Club, the organization of Washington correspondents. He also belonged to the National Press Club, the Overseas Writers Club, and the University Club in Washington, DC; to the Detroit Club and to the Cammarian Club in Providence, Rhode Island.

Blair Moody on June 6, 1925, married Mary Williamson, by whom he had one son, Arthur Edson Blair, Jr. His two younger sons, Christopher Sorenson and Robert Orten, were born to his second wife, the former Ruth Curtis Amadon, whom he married on September 14,1940.

Please note:

Susan B. Moody, a granddaughter of Blair Moody, transferred her copyright in the papers to the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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