Frank, Barney, 1940-

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Barnett Frank (born March 31, 1940) is a former American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979, in the Massachusetts Senate from 1979 to 1981, and in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 4th congressional district from 1981 to 2013.

Born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, Frank graduated from Bayonne High School and Harvard College. He taught undergraduates at Harvard while studying for a PhD in Government, but left in 1968 before completing the degree, to become Boston mayor Kevin White's Chief Assistant, a position he held for three years. He then served for a year as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Michael J. Harrington. In 1972, Frank was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives where he served for eight years. He made a name for himself in the mid-1970s as a political defender of the Combat Zone, Boston's notorious red light district. While a state representative, Frank earned a law degree from Harvard Law School. In 1979, Frank was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts. While in state and local government, he taught, part-time, at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and at Boston University. In 1977, Frank graduated from Harvard Law School and was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts.

In 1980, Frank ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 4th congressional district, hoping to succeed Reverend Robert Drinan, who had left Congress, following a call by Pope John Paul II for priests to withdraw from political positions, winning with 52 percent of the vote. He was re-elected every term thereafter by wide margins. In 1987, he publicly came out as gay, becoming the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily. While in Congress, Frank worked to adjust America’s spending priorities to reduce the deficit by providing less funding for the military, thereby protecting funding for important quality-of-life needs at home. In particular, he focused on providing aid to local communities and to building and preserving affordable rental housing for low-income people. He was also a leader in the fight against discrimination of various sorts. He championed the interests of the poor, the underprivileged, and the vulnerable.

In July 2012, Frank married his long-time partner, James Ready, becoming the first member of Congress to marry someone of the same sex while in office. He did not seek re-election in 2012, and was succeeded by fellow Democrat Joe Kennedy III. Frank's autobiography, A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage, was published in 2015.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn McGrory, Mary, 1918-2004. Mary McGrory papers, 1928-2004 (bulk 1956-2002). Library of Congress
creatorOf Congressman Barney Frank Archives Collection University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library
creatorOf Frank, Barney. Barney Frank : commercials, 1980-1982. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn Burns, Richard D. Richard D. Burns papers, 1977-1986. New York State Historical Documents (Albany, N.Y.)
referencedIn Additional records, 1976-1982 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Frank, Barney. Reminiscences of Barney Frank : oral history, 1989. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Committee to Ratify the Massachusetts State Equal Rights Amendment. Records, 1975-1982 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Frank, Samuel B. Papers, 1924-1990 (bulk 1957-1989). American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Boston N.O.W. Records, 1967-1990 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Brian R. McNaught papers, circa 1970-2004 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Wendell Ricketts papers, circa 1961-2004 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Records of, Sojourner, (inclusive), (bulk), 1920-2004, 1975-2002 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project. Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project records, 1993-2000. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. Audiovisual collection of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, 1960-1990 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Smith, Hedrick, 1933-. Hedrick Smith Papers, 1923-1992 (bulk: 1965-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Marguerite Yourcenar additional papers, 1842-1996. Houghton Library
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Michelangelo Signorile Papers, ca. 1985-2000 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Robert Manning papers, 1938-1993. Houghton Library
referencedIn Committee to Ratify the Massachusetts State Equal Rights Amendment. Additional records, 1976-1982 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bernard "Bunny" Solomon papers Northeastern University, Snell Library
referencedIn Records, 1967-1990 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Dunlap, David W. David W. Dunlap papers, 1993-1999. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Boston N.O.W. corporateBody
employeeOf Boston University corporateBody
associatedWith Burns, Richard D. person
associatedWith Chafe, William Henry, person
associatedWith Committee to Ratify the Massachusetts State Equal Rights Amendment. corporateBody
associatedWith Dunlap, David W person
sibling of Frank, Samuel B. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard Law School corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard University corporateBody
employeeOf John F. Kennedy School of Government. corporateBody
associatedWith League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. corporateBody
associatedWith Lowenstein, Allard K. (Allard Kenneth), 1929-1980. person
associatedWith Manning, Robert, 1919- person
memberOf Massachusetts. General Court. House of Representatives corporateBody
correspondedWith McGrory, Mary, 1918-2004. person
associatedWith McNaught, Brian R. person
associatedWith Michael Harrington person
associatedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
associatedWith Signorile, Michelangelo person
associatedWith Sojourner (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
memberOf United States. Congress. House. corporateBody
associatedWith United States National Student Association. corporateBody
employeeOf University of Massachusetts, Boston corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith White, Kevin H. person
correspondedWith Yourcenar, Marguerite. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Bayonne NJ US
Boston MA US
Newton MA US
Cambridge MA US
Subject
Television advertising
Civil rights
Student movements
Advertising, political
Campaign management
Legislators--Interviews
Occupation
Legislative assistants
Authors
Professors (teacher)
State Representative
Representatives U.S. Congress--Massachusetts
Activity

Person

Birth 1940-03-31

Male

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 85819882