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Charles Edward Potter (October 30, 1916 – November 23, 1979) was a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan.

Charles E. Potter
Charles Edward Potter.jpg
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
November 5, 1952 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byBlair Moody
Succeeded byPhilip Hart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 11th district
In office
August 26, 1947 – November 4, 1952
Preceded byFred Bradley
Succeeded byVictor A. Knox
Personal details
Born(1916-10-30)October 30, 1916
Lapeer, Michigan
DiedNovember 23, 1979(1979-11-23) (aged 63)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Alma materEastern Michigan University
AwardsSilver Star (2), Croix de Guerre, Purple Heart
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1942–1946
UnitUS 28th Infantry Division


Early lifeEdit

Potter was born in Lapeer, Michigan and attended the public schools there. He received an AB degree from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1938. He worked as an administrator of Bureau of Social Aid in Cheboygan County, Michigan, 1938–1942. In 1942, he enlisted as a private in the United States Army with combat service in the European Theater of Operations with the US 28th Infantry Division. He was seriously wounded at Colmar, Alsace, France, in 1945, resulting in the loss of both legs. He was discharged from the service as a major in 1946.

He was awarded the Silver Star twice, the French Croix de Guerre, and the U.S. Purple Heart. After the war, he was engaged as a vocational rehabilitation representative for the Retraining and Reemployment Administration with the United States Labor Department until his resignation in 1947.


1954 TV interview

Potter was elected on August 26, 1947, as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 11th congressional district for the 80th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Fred Bradley. He was reelected to the two succeeding Congresses and served from August 26, 1947 until his resignation November 4, 1952.

He was elected to the United States Senate in 1952 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Arthur H. Vandenberg, replacing Blair Moody, who had been appointed to the post. He served the remainder of Vandenberg's term, from November 5, 1952, to January 3, 1953. He was also elected in 1952 for the term commencing January 3, 1953, defeating Moody in both elections. He served until January 3, 1959, having been defeated for reelection to a second term in 1958 by Philip Hart.

During his tenure, he served as the only member of the Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities, investigating war crimes committed during the Korean War.[1]

Later careerEdit

After leaving Congress, Potter engaged as an industrial consultant and international securities executive. In his 1965 memoir, Days of Shame, he outlined the battle between moderate Republicans and Democrats to contend with Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy. Potter was a close confidante of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on this and other issues.

Potter was a Methodist and a member of American Legion, Amvets, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eagles, Elks, Kiwanis, and the American Battle Monuments Commission. He resided in Queenstown, Maryland, until his death at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C. at the age of sixty-three.

Charles E. Potter is interred in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia.


  • Potter, Charles E. Days of Shame. New York: Coward-McCann, 1965.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Potter, Charles E. (December 3, 1953). "Korean War Atrocities" (PDF, online). United States Senate Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities of the Permanent Subcommittee of the Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations. US GPO. Retrieved 2008-01-18.


External linksEdit