January 5, 2013
SPEAKER TIP O'NEILL DIED 19 YEARS AGO TODAY
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Tip O'Neill*, who was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987, died 19 years ago, January 5, 1994, here in Boston.
NARA Photo (1978)
His nickname 'Tip' came from baseball player, James 'Tip' O'Neill.**
President Bill Clinton said in the Speaker's honor...
"Tip...was the nation's most prominent, powerful & loyal champion of working people. He loved politics & government because he saw that (they) could make a difference in people's lives. And he loved people most of all."
Tip O'Neill served in the House 34 years & was elected to the 11th District Massachusetts seat vacated by John F. Kennedy in 1952.
According to biographer John Aloysius Farrell, Tip O'Neill was...
"an absolute, unrepentant, New Deal Democrat."
In 1967, O'Neill began to oppose LBJ's Vietnam policy.
When he retired in 1987, Tip wrote a best selling autobiography titled 'Man of the House.'
Tip O'Neill Gravesite
Photo by Mike Peel, 2012
*Thomas Phillip O'Neill, Jr. (1912-1994) was born in North Cambridge, Mass. He graduated from Boston College in 1936 & began a career in politics on the Cambridge City Council.
He campaigned for Al Smith & Franklin D. Roosevelt.
**Tip O'Neill (1858-1915) was born in Ontario, Canada. He played professional baseball from 1883 to 1892 for the NY Gothams, St. Louis Browns, Cincinnati Reds & Chicago Pirates.
O'Neill won the only triple crown in the history of the American Association in 1887. He played outfield & also pitched.
Tip O'Neill Baseball Card
Library of Congress Image