Noted American historian, statesman and conservative political leader, best known as a U.S. Representative and Senator from Massachusetts. Descended from the cream of Boston Brahmin aristocracy, he was born Henry Cabot Lodge in Boston, Massachusetts on May 12, 1850. He attended private schools and graduated from Harvard University in 1871. While at Harvard Law School he became editor of the North American Review 1873-1876; graduated in 1874 and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1875. Lodge went on to earn one of the first Ph.D. degrees in history and government granted by Harvard University in 1876, and then joined the Harvard faculty to become a lecturer on American history 1876-1879. He was elected a member of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives 1880-1881. He also wrote some historical works, as well as biographies of his great-grandfather George Cabot (1877), of Alexander Hamilton (1882), of Daniel Webster (1883), and of George Washington (1889); he edited an edition of the works of Hamilton (9 vol., 1885). Lodge was an unsuccessful Republican candidate in 1882 for election to the Forty-eighth Congress and in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress. He was finally elected as a Republican representative to the Fiftieth, Fifty-first, and Fifty-second Congresses and served from March 4, 1887, until March 3, 1893, when he resigned. He had been reelected to the Fifty-third Congress, but he gave that up to be elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1893. Armed with all the confidence that his distinguished New England ancestry, Harvard education, and wide circle of influential friends could bestow, he quickly became a power in the Senate and in the Republican Party. Independently wealthy and not wanting for campaign contributions, he was noted for his scorn of the alliance between big business and corrupt politicians. Close friends with Theodore Roosevelt, he welcomed war with Spain in 1898, and favored the acquisition of the Philippines and the development of a strong army and navy. A conservative party-line Republican, he supported the gold standard and a high protective tariff. He was reelected to the Senate in 1899, 1905, 1911, 1916, and 1922, serving in the Senate from March 4, 1893, until his death. In the Senate he served in many leadership positions: Republican Conference chairman (1918-24); president pro tempore (1911-13); chairman, Committee on Immigration (Fifty-fourth through Sixty-second Congresses), Committee on Printing (Fifty-fifth Congress), Committee on the Philippines (Fifty-sixth through Sixty-first Congresses), Committee on Private Land Claims (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Foreign Relations (Sixty-sixth through Sixty-eighth Congresses), Republican Conference (1918-24); appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt a member of the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal in 1903; member of the United States Immigration Commission 1907-1910; overseer of Harvard University from 1911 until his death; represented the United States as a member of the Conference on Limitation of Armament in 1921. In the aftermath of the First World War he was a bitter opponent of President Wilson's peace policy, and, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, opposed U.S. ratification of the Treaty of Versailles and entry into the League of Nations unless specified and highly limiting reservations were made to protect U.S. interests. Lodge maintained that membership in the world peacekeeping organization would threaten the sovereignty of the United States by binding the nation to international commitments it would not or could not keep. In the end, Lodge's opposition derailed ratification of the treaty, which destroyed Wilson's goal of a strong U.S. role in the post-war League of Nations. Thus ironically, having supported a larger role for the U.S. in world affairs early in his career, Lodge ended up being best remembered for spearheading Senate blockage of American membership in the League of Nations. This man who had done so much to prepare his country for international leadership ultimately came to be regarded as an isolationist. . He later opposed U.S. entry into the World Court. In 1920 he was one of the group of Senators who brought about Warren G. Harding's nomination for President in the legendary “smoke-filled room.” Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. died on November 9, 1924 at the age of 74. His grandson, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (1902-1985), would be elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 1936, re-elected in 1942, resigned in 1944 to serve in the military, then returned to the Senate in 1946, only to be defeated for re-election by Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1952.
Bio by: Edward Parsons
Anna Cabot Mills Davis Lodge