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John Martin Vorys (June 16, 1896 – August 25, 1968) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.

John Martin Vorys
John Martin Vorys crop.jpg
in Washington, D.C., July 1, 1939
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byArthur P. Lamneck
Succeeded bySamuel L. Devine
Member of the Ohio Senate
In office
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1896-06-16)June 16, 1896
Lancaster, Ohio
DiedAugust 25, 1968(1968-08-25) (aged 72)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting placeGreen Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
Political partyRepublican
Alma materMoritz College of Law
Yale University

Early lifeEdit

Born in Lancaster, Ohio, Vorys attended the public schools in Lancaster and Columbus, Ohio. During the First World War served overseas as a pilot in the famous "Yale Unit" of the United States Naval Air Service, retiring to inactive service in 1919 with rank of lieutenant. He graduated from Yale University in 1918, where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[1][2] and from Ohio State University Law School at Columbus in 1923. He was a teacher in the College of Yale, Changsha, China, in 1919 and 1920. He served as assistant secretary, American delegation, Conference on Limitation of Armaments, Washington, D.C., in 1921 and 1922. He was admitted to the bar in 1923 and commenced practice in Columbus, Ohio, at the firm founded by his grandfather, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.[3]

Political careerEdit

He served as member of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1923 and 1924, and in the Ohio Senate in 1925 and 1926. He served as director of aeronautics of Ohio in 1929 and 1930.

Vorys was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth and to the nine succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1959). He did not seek reelection in 1958.

A confidential 1943 analysis of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office described Vorys as[4]

The real leader of the Opposition Bloc on the committee. He voted against all major foreign policy measures and was the author of the amendment in June 1939 which provided for a mandatory embargo on the export of arms to belligerent nations. A shrewd and active member likely to prove the most stubborn member of the committee. He constantly presses (and for obvious reasons) for some sort of dollar and cent estimate of the current balance as between Lend-Lease and Reciprocal Aid and proposed the amendments which were later defeated, whereby Congress alone could authorise the final settlement. A Methodist; age 47; a formidable nationalist.

Vorys served as delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1951, and as Regent of the Smithsonian Institution 1949-1959, before resuming the practice of law.

He died in Columbus, Ohio, August 25, 1968, and was interred in Green Lawn Cemetery.[5]


  1. ^ "Memorabilia Yalensia". The Yale Literary Magazine. 82 (8): 291. 1917.
  2. ^ Isaacson, Walter and Evan Thomas (1997). The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Simon and Schuster. p. 690.
  3. ^ Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease firm history
  4. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943" (PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-21.
  5. ^ Jeffery C. Livingston, Swallowed by Globalism: John M. Vorys and American Foreign Policy (University Press of America, 2001)

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Arthur P. Lamneck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 12th congressional district

January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1959
Succeeded by
Samuel L. Devine