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John Dowdy
Dowdy's former residence in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

John Vernard Dowdy (February 11, 1912 – April 12, 1995)[1] was an American politician. Dowdy was a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas from 1952 to 1967 and then served as a congressman from the 2nd District of Texas until 1973, when he decided to retire under indictment for bribery. He was succeeded in Texas's 7th district by first time Republican congressman George H. W. Bush, who after serving two terms in the House would eventually go on serve as Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan, and then be elected to the Presidency himself.

According to prosecutors, he accepted a $25,000 bribe to intervene in the federal investigation of Monarch Construction Company of Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1971, Dowdy was convicted on eight counts: two of conspiracy, one of transporting a bribe over state lines, and five of perjury.[2] In 1973, after Dowdy retired from Congress, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, overturned the bribery and conspiracy convictions. Dowdy still served a sentence in prison for perjury.[3][4]

Dowdy was one of four U.S. Congressmen from Texas to sign the "Southern Manifesto," a resolution in protest of the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.[5]

Right-wing groups rallied to his defense, including the Washington Observer and the Liberty Lobby, which contended Dowdy was the victim of a "vicious frame-up by the Justice Department in collaboration with a clique of housing racketeers." The ulterior motive, according to the newspaper, was to stop Dowdy's subcommittee investigation of the fraud at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.[6]

Dowdy was born in Waco, Texas, and lived in Texas for most of his life. He was a lawyer before entering politics. He died in Athens, Texas.

Committee assignmentsEdit

  • 83rd Congress — Post Office and Civil Service.
  • 84th Congress — Post Office and Civil Service, House Administration.
  • 85th through 92nd Congresses — Judiciary, District of Columbia Subcommittee.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Biographical Directory of Congress". Retrieved 2006-10-23.
  2. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (1972-01-10). ", January 10, 1972, "Trials:Congressman Convicted"". Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "Southern Manifesto on Integration (March 12, 1956)". WNET. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Washington Observer, April 15, 1973.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Pickett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by
Jack Brooks
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles Wilson