John O. Pastore
Giovanni Orlando Pastore was
born in Providence, Rhode Island on
March 17, 1907 to
Michel Pastourel (b 1876 Potenza,
Erminia Asprinio. During the early years, his family
lived in a tenement apartment on Federal Hill,
which was known as "Little Italy"
because of the many Italian immigrants that made this area
their home at the turn of the century. John's father, died in 1916 and his
mother had to take in sewing jobs to support the family. John helped out
the family during these hard years by working in a jewelry factory and as
a drug store delivery boy.
After finishing high school, John attended law classes at the YMCA
while working as a clerk at the local electric company. He later graduated
from Northeastern University
with a degree in law.
John O. Pastore was first elected
to public office in 1934 as a
member of the Rhode Island General Assembly
and again in 1936. He served as
the Assistant Attorney General
for the state of Rhode Island from 1937 to
1938 and from 1940 to 1944.
He was elected Lieutenant Governor
in 1944 and in 1945
he assumed the role Governor
after Governor McGrath resigned from office. He was reelected
in 1946 and again in 1948.
In 1950 John was elected
to the United States Senate
where he served until 1976.
Senator Pastore was the first Italian-American
to serve as Governor and the
first to serve as a United States Senator.
in the senate, Senator Pastore served as the chairman of the Atomic
Energy Commission and the TV
Regulatory Committee. He was one of the prime movers in
working for the passage of the first "Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty."
Senator Pastore was known as a natural and eloquent
speaker. He was selected to give the keynote
speech at the 1964 Democratic
Convention. His speech; a critical and biting commentary on
Lyndon Johnson's opponent, Senator Goldwater, drew a standing ovation. The
Associated Press in their article on the speech wrote, "The
Little Rhode Islander, who stands no taller than a two pound keg of
mail-it-home salt water taffy, was in the grand tradition of convention
Senator Pastore retired to
the Cranston area in 1976. He died
on July 15, 2000 of kidney
failure and Parkinson's Disease at the age of 93.
During the last three years of his life he resided at Scalabrini
Villa Nursing Home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The
senator married Elenora Caito
in 1941 and they raised three children; two sons and a daughter.
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