|John M. Ashbrook|
|Former U.S. Representative from Ohio's 17th Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1961 – April 24, 1982
|Predecessor||Robert W. Levering|
|Successor||Jean Spencer Ashbrook|
|Former State Representative from Ohio|
|Spouse(s)||Joan Needels (div. 1971)|
John Milan Ashbrook (September 21, 1928 – April 24, 1982) was a leading movement conservative in the 1960s and 1970s as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He challenged and ran against President Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential primary, paving the way for fellow conservative Ronald Reagan's more successful challenge of incumbent President Gerald Ford in the 1976 primary.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he graduated from Harvard University and then Ohio State law school. He worked upon graduation of law school for the Johnstown Independent, a weekly newspaper that he father, also a Congressman, had founded in 1884. That gave him publicity to be elected in 1956 as a Republican to the Ohio General Assembly. He served it for two years before being elected to Congress in 1960, where he served 22 years without interruption.
John Ashbrook is best known for challenging Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential primary. In Ashbrook's announcement of his candidacy for president, he listed how Nixon had betrayed his campaign promises in 1968 and was governing in the manner of a liberal than a conservative:
Ashbrook received 9.6% of the vote in New Hampshire, less than 9% in Florida, and then 10% in Nixon's home state of California, before pulling out. Later, when the Watergate scandal hit, he was among the first Republicans to call for Nixon's resignation. Ashbrook was preparing for a Senate run in 1982 when he died suddenly at the age of only 53, after eating in a restaurant.
Ashbrook's death was considered suspicious at the time by many, such as the physician and fellow Representative Larry McDonald, who stated that it was "strange" and "tragic". He had announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate and was ahead in the polls. He had excellent health and was vigorous. Ashbrook was a leading anti-communist in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ashbrook had eaten a meal at a restaurant and then fell sick soon thereafter. He was promptly taken to the hospital and died soon thereafter. The hospital claimed that he had died of a heart attack, though such was false. Another obituary says he died from a peptic ulcer. However, as reported in his obituary in The New York Times, the county coroner provided a different analysis:
|“||A hospital official had reported earlier that Mr. Ashbrook had apparently suffered a heart attack in his hometown of Johnstown, but Dr. Robert Baker, the Licking County coroner, who performed a preliminary autopsy, said the Congressman had died of massive stomach and intestinal bleeding. Dr. Baker said a more extensive autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of the bleeding.||”|
Death by massive stomach and internal bleeding would be caused by being given something improper to eat.
Wikipedia ignores and omits the suspicious nature of his death.
Shortly after his death, the Ashbrook Center was established at Ashland University in his home state of Ohio, which remains a major part of the university. It has hosted prominent conservatives as guest speakers including President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Massachusetts Governor (and 2012 presidential candidate) Mitt Romney. Ashbrook's papers are maintained at the center, consisting of 309 feet of documents (mostly congressional papers) and personal documents spanning 1950 to 1982.
- William M. McCulloch, fellow conservative Republican U.S. representative from Ohio's 4th district
- American National Biography, Volume I, ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (Oxford University Press, 1999)
- https://ashbrook.org/about/john-ashbrook/ Note: link is dead.
- http://www.ashbrook.org/about/ashbrook.html Note: link is dead.
- H.R. 7152. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964. ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION (H. RES. 789) PROVIDING FOR HOUSE APPROVAL OF THE BILL AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- Blair, William G. (April 25, 1982). REP. JOHN M. ASHBROOK OF OHIO DIES AT AGE OF 53. The New York Times.
- TO PASS H.R. 6400, THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO ESTABLISH PENALTIES FOR INTERFERENCE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS. INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON ENGAGED IN ONE OF THE 8 ACTIVITIES PROTECTED UNDER THIS BILL MUST BE RACIALLY MOTIVATED TO INCUR THE BILL'S PENALTIES.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- John Ashbrook 1972 Announcement Speech. 4president.org.
- Larry McDonald explains why Congress needs to stop passing laws YouTube. Retreived June 25, 2021.
- John M. Ashbrook. Hyperleap.
- Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress