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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 53

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This is the grave of Tip O’Neill.

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Born in 1912 in Cambridge, O’Neill became involved in politics at a young age, campaigning for Al Smith in 1928. He ran for City Council while a senior at Boston College and suffered his only electoral defeat. In 1936, he was elected the Massachusetts House, starting a long career as a supporter of New Deal-style government programs. He ran for Congress in 1952 and served there until 1987. He was elected Speaker in 1977 after rising through the leadership through the preceding decade. That he called for Richard Nixon’s impeachment at an early point helped raise his profile in the nation. He did not have particularly good relations with Jimmy Carter, but when Reagan took over in 1981, pledged to work with the new president up to an extent, even while often opposing him publicly, which turned out often unfortunately for the people relying on Democratic opposition to the new president’s budget-slashing policies for the environment and working-class. He retired in 1987 and died in 1993.

As part of my mission to make this series even more trivial, I am also starting a new section to document whether an individual has been portrayed in a movie or TV show. O’Neill himself loved the limelight. He starred in an episode of Cheers in 1983 and also appeared as himself in the 1993 film Dave. It does not however seem that anyone has ever played him as a fictional character.

Today, Tip O’Neill working with Ronald Reagan is the wet dream of Broderites everywhere.

Tip O’Neill is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Harwich Port, Massachusetts.

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