Last modified on October 18, 2021, at 21:15

Homer E. Capehart

Homer Earl Capehart
Homer E. Capehart Senate portrait.jpg
Former U.S. Senator from Indiana
From: January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1963
Predecessor William E. Jenner
Successor Birch Bayh
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Irma Viola Mueller
Religion Lutheran[1]
Military Service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Service Years 1917–1919
Rank Sergeant
Unit Infantry, Quartermaster Corps
Battles/wars World War I

Homer Earl Capehart (June 6, 1897 – September 3, 1979) was a businessman from Indiana who served as the state's U.S. senator for three terms, spanning 1945 to 1963. A Republican and outspoken member of his party, he was mostly a conservative in his tenure with some exceptions.[2]

U.S. Senate

Elected to the Senate in 1944 to succeed retiring interim William Jenner,[3] Capehart was an Old Right conservative who opposed the spread of communism abroad and represented farming interests.[2] He was had isolationist leanings,[4] particularly during his earlier Senate years.

Capehart was re-elected in 1950[5] and 1956.[6]

During the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, Capehart was the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.[2] He backed programs benefiting both small and large businesses, and was likely involved in a conflict of interest due to supporting farm subsidies which he was a direct beneficiary of. Capehart also led the effort to end scandals involving the Federal Housing Administration.[2]

Although Capehart in the 1950s was associated with the more moderate, Eisenhower wing, he nonetheless broke from the president on some issues.[7] Although taking a more internationalist turn, he opposed some foreign policy decisions by the administration, and backed the investigations into communist subversion conducted by his Wisconsin colleague Joseph McCarthy.[2]

Capehart ran for re-election to a fourth Senate term in the 1962 midterms, though narrowly lost by less than one percentage point to Birch E. Bayh.[8] According to The Washington Post:[2]

The chief issue in that campaign were long-standing calls by Sen. Capehart for President Kennedy to invade Cuba. Bayh urged moderation toward the Castro government. When Kennedy ordered the embargo of Cuba during the missile crisis of 1962, it cut the ground out from under Capehart, although the president's action was in line with what he had been suggesting.


  1. Cannon-james to Capner. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Smith, J. Y. (September 5, 1979). Former Senator Capehart of Indiana Dies at 82. The Washington Post. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  3. IN US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1944. Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  4. Cook, Joan (September 5, 1979). Homer E. Capehart Is Dead at 82; Was 3‐Term Senator From Indiana. The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  5. IN US Senate Race - Nov 07, 1950. Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  6. IN US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1956. Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  7. HOMER E. CAPEHART PAPERS, 1938–1962. Indiana Historical Society. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  8. IN US Senate Race - Nov 06, 1962. Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 18, 2021.

External links