Barry Morris Goldwater was a former U.S. senator and presidential nominee. During almost 40 years in public life, he became the outspoken and controversial leader of the conservative wing of the REPUBLICAN PARTY.
Goldwater was born January 1, 1909, in Phoenix, Arizona. His paternal ancestors were Orthodox Jewish innkeepers who emigrated from Poland in the mid-1800s to join the California gold rush. Goldwater's father, Baron Goldwater, managed the family's general store in Phoenix. This store was the humble beginning of what would become an enormously profitable chain, Goldwater's Department Stores. Goldwater's mother, Josephine Williams, was a nurse who raised Goldwater and his siblings in her Episcopalian faith. A woman who loved out-door activities, she took her children hiking and camping throughout Arizona and taught them the colorful history of the region. From her, Goldwater acquired an abiding love of the Southwest and a deep appreciation of its people and its beauty.
Goldwater was a mediocre student who preferred sports and socializing to studying. At Phoenix Union High School, he was elected president of his first-year class, but the principal advised his father that Goldwater should probably attend school elsewhere the following year. Against his strenuous objections, his parents sent him to Staunton Military Academy, in Virginia. There, he excelled at athletics and did better academically than anyone expected, being named best all-around cadet in 1928.
Goldwater loved the military and dreamed of attending West Point. But when he graduated from Staunton, his father was in ill health, and Goldwater instead enrolled at the University of Arizona, at Tucson, to be near his home. His father died before he had finished his first year in college. Goldwater left school a year later to enter the family business.
"A GOVERNMENT THAT IS BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU ALL YOU WANT IS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE IT ALL AWAY."
With his father gone, Goldwater turned to an uncle for advice and direction. He quickly worked his way up from junior clerk, to general manager in 1936, and to president in 1937. Under his leadership, Goldwater's became Phoenix's premier department store and leading specialty shop. Goldwater pioneered the five-day workweek and instituted many progressive fringe benefits for his employees, including health and life insurance, profit sharing, and use
by employees of a vacation ranch. Also, Goldwater's was the first Phoenix store to hire African Americans as salesclerks.
Goldwater entered politics in 1949 when he was elected to the Phoenix City Council as a reform candidate. He was surprised to find that he loved politics. In 1950, he managed Howard Pyle's successful campaign for governor of Arizona. In 1952, he was elected to the U.S. Senate on the...