Baylor University Poage Library


John V. Dowdy, Sr.
Biographical Chronology



1912

Born February 11 in Waco, McLennan County, Texas
Lived early years in Rusk, Texas

1928

Graduated from high school in Henderson, Texas

1929-1931

Attended College of Marshall (now East Texas Baptist University)

1931-1944

Court reporter and private study of law

1932

Married Mary Ellen "Sunshine" Fite of Carthage, Texas

1937

December 3 - Daughter Carol Sue born

1940

Admitted to the bar and began law practice in Athens, Texas while still Court Reporter

1942

July 3 - Son John, Jr. "Skipper" born

1943

December 6 - Wife died following death of a third child

1945

Elected District Attorney, 3rd Judicial District of Texas
Served until his election to Congress in 1952

1946

Married Johnnie Deana "J.D." Riley in August

1952-1972

Member of Congress for 7th Texas District, served in 83rd through 92nd Congress

Committee assignments:

  • 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

1970

March 31st - Indicted by federal grand jury in Baltimore, MD on charges of conspiracy, perjury, and promoting bribery

The circumstances of the case are as follows:

  • 1965, Sept. 22 - Dowdy allegedly accepted a $25,000 bribe to intervene in the federal investigation of Monarch Construction Company of Silver Springs, MD.
  • 1970, April 10 - Dowdy arraigned on the indictment
  • 1971, November 8 - Trial began
  • 1971, December 30 - Convicted on eight counts: two counts of conspiracy, one count of transporting a bribe over state lines, and five counts of perjury
  • 1972, January 18 - Announced retirement from Congress
  • 1973 - Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA overturned bribery and conspiracy convictions. Washington Observer and Liberty Lobby contended that Dowdy was the victim of a "vicious frame-up by the Justice Department in collaboration with a clique of housing racketeers. The ulterior motive was to stop Dowdy's subcommittee investigation of housing and Urban Renewal frauds." [Washington Observer, April 15, 1973]
  • 1974, January 28 - Began serving six month prison term stemming from his conviction
  • 1974, June - Released from prison. Retired to Athens, Texas
1992

May 18 - J. D. Dowdy died in Athens, Texas, age 85

1995

Dowdy died in Athens, Texas

 

Sources of information concerning Dowdy's indictment:
Congress and the Nation, Vol. 3, 1969-1972,
Congressional Quarterly Service, 1973
Houston Post, August 18, 1974
Liberty Lobby Newsletter, 1973
Newsweek, April 13, 1970
Time, January 10, 1972
Washington Observer, April 15, 1973


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