Frelinghuysen, Peter H. B.

Alternative names
Birth 1916-01-17
Death 2011-05-23

Biographical notes:

Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen was born in New York City on January 17, 1916. He attended St. Mark's School at Southboro, Massachusetts and entered Princeton University in 1934. While at Princeton he majored in history, was a member of Terrace Club, and graduated with High Honors in 1938. After receiving his law degree from Yale Law School in 1941, he served in the Office of Naval Intelligence. Upon leaving the Navy he worked with the law firm of Simpson, Thacher, and Bartlett in addition to directing the family banking and investment business. He served on the Hoover Commission in 1948 to study reorganization of the Executive Branch before being elected to Congress.

Frelinghuysen was elected to the House of Representatives in 1952 and represented New Jersey's 5th district until his retirement in 1975. He garnered the reputation as an "Eisenhower Republican" while advocating governmental reform and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government. Frelinghuysen also championed economic investment in Southeast Asia throughout the 1950s. Increasingly he voted to limit spending and tighten the budget. In 1964, he fought, to no avail, to include socially liberal planks in the Republican platform. Locally, he was interested in flood control, the consequences of rapid growth, and finding a site for a New Jersey jetport.

In 1965, House Minority Leader Gerald Ford nominated Frelinghuysen as his choice for minority whip, the second most powerful position in the Republican House leadership. He lost the confirmation vote in a secret ballot, however. His House committee assignments included tenures on the Committee on Education and Labor (1953-1964) and on the Committee on Foreign Affairs (1965-1974). He served on the United Nations General Assembly in 1965.

Frelinghuysen married Beatrice Procter in 1940. They had three sons, Peter, Rodney, and Frederick and two daughters, Beatrice and Adaline. Rodney currently represents New Jersey’s 11th district in the House of Representatives.

From the guide to the Peter H. B. Frelinghuysen Papers, 1952-1975, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)


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  • American history/20th century
  • Federal aid to education
  • Emigration and immigration law--United States--20th century
  • American politics and government
  • Legislation--United States
  • United States. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961
  • Airport zoning--New Jersey
  • Presidents--Inauguration
  • Public policy/20th century
  • New Jerseyana
  • Great Swamp (Morris County, N.J.)
  • Legislators--New Jersey - 20th century


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  • New Jersey – Politics and government – 20th century. (as recorded)
  • United States – Foreign relations – Vietnam. (as recorded)
  • United States – Economic conditions – 20th century. (as recorded)