Daniel Patrick Moynihan was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 16, 1927. At the age of six Dr. Moynihan and his family moved
to New York City where he graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem in 1943. After spending a year at the
City College of New York, Dr. Moynihan enlisted in the United States Navy and received officer training at Tufts University
in Massachusetts. He served on active duty with the navy from 1944 – 1947 and was the gunnery officer onboard the U.S.S.
Quirinus. After being discharged from the navy, Dr. Moynihan returned to Tufts University and received a B.A. in Sociology
in 1948. He continued his education by attending the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts in which he earned his
M.A. in 1949. In 1950, Dr. Moynihan was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and moved to London to attend the London School of
Economics. He remained in Great Britain until 1953. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Syracuse University
Daniel Patrick Moynihan is best known for his work in academia and politics. However, in his youth he also worked as a shoe
shiner, longshoreman and bartender. His first entry into politics was in 1953 when he worked on Robert Wagner’s New York
City mayoral campaign. In 1954 he worked on W. Averell Harriman’s New York gubernatorial campaign and later worked in Harriman’s
administration as a speech writer and chief aid. Dr. Moynihan served in the administrations of four United States presidents.
He was a delegate at the 1960 Democratic National Convention for John F. Kennedy. He then worked for the Kennedy Administration
as an Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy. He remained in this position into the early years of the Johnson Administration
working primarily on national policy with regards to poverty. He left the Johnson Administration in 1965 and remained out
of politics until 1969 when as a Democrat he joined the Nixon Administration as Counselor to the President for Urban Affairs.
He was in this position until December of 1970 and focused on welfare reform through his Family Assistance Plan. In 1973
President Nixon appointed Dr. Moynihan as United States Ambassador to India in which he remained until 1975. In 1975, President
Ford appointed Dr. Moynihan as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations where he served as the President of the
United Nations Security Council. In 1976 Daniel Moynihan retired from the United Nations and became a United States Senator
from New York, defeating incumbent Republican James Buckley. As a senator, Dr. Moynihan sat on the Select Committee on Intelligence
and was the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He won re-election to the senate for three additional terms and retired
in 2001. In 2000, President Clinton awarded Dr. Moynihan the Medal of Freedom.
Daniel Moynihan’s career in academia began in 1958 after Governor Harriman lost his re-election effort to Nelson Rockefeller.
He relocated to Syracuse University to complete his P.hD. and to write about his time in the Harriman administration. After
leaving the Johnson administration in 1965, Dr. Moynihan became a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University.
In 1966 he became the Director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies at Harvard University as well as a tenured professor
of Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. After leaving the Nixon administration in 1970, Dr. Moynihan returned
to Harvard as a professor in the Department of Government and shifted his interests from domestic policy to foreign affairs.
He briefly returned to Harvard in 1975 after serving as the United States Ambassador to India, but left to become the United
States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. After he retired from the Senate in 2001, he joined the Public Administration
faculty at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Dr. Moynihan received a Hubert Humphrey
Award as well as a Heinz Award for his scholarly achievements. Dr. Moynihan was the author of 19 books. Some of his works
Beyond the Melting Pot (1963), The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965), Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community
Action in the War on Poverty (1969), Violent Crimes (1970), Coping: Essays on the Practice of Government (1973), The Politics
of a Guaranteed Income (1973), Business and Society in Change (1975), A Dangerous Place (1978), Best Editorial Cartoons of
the Year, 1980 (1980), Family and Nation: The Godkin Lectures (1986), Came the Revolution (1988), On the Law of Nations (1990),
Pandemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics (1994), Miles to Go: A Personal History of Social Policy (1996), Secrecy:
The American Experience (1998), and Future of the Family (2003).
In May 1955, Dr. Moynihan married Elizabeth Brennan who was a campaign worker on Governor Averell Harriman’s 1954 campaign
as well as a staff member in Harriman’s Albany, New York office. They had three children Timothy, Maura and John as well
as two grandchildren. Daniel Patrick Moynihan died on March 26, 2003 at the age of 76, after complications from a ruptured
appendix. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
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