Carey Estes Kefauver ( /ˈɛstɨs ˈkiːfɔːvər/; July 26, 1903 – August 10, 1963) was an American politician from Tennessee. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939 to 1949 and in the Senate from 1949 to his death in 1963.
After leading a much-publicized investigation into organized crime in the early 1950s, he twice sought his party's nomination for President of the United States. In 1956, he was selected by the Democratic National Convention to be the running mate of presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. Still holding his U.S. Senate seat after the Stevenson-Kefauver ticket lost to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket in 1956, Kefauver was named chair of the U.S. Senate Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee in 1957 and served as its chairman until his death.
Kefauver was born in Madisonville, Tennessee, to Robert Cooke Kefauver and Phredonia Bradford Estes. Robert Kefauver was a hardware merchant. Estes attended the University of Tennessee from 1922 to 1924, receiving a bachelor of arts degree and being initiated into the Lambda Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. After a year of teaching mathematics and coaching football at a Hot Springs, Arkansas, high school, he attended Yale University, from which he received an LL.B. cum laude in 1927. For the next dozen years Kefauver practiced law in Chattanooga, first with the firm of Cooke, Swaney & Cooke, as a partner in Sizer, Chambliss & Kefauver, and later in the firm of Duggan, McDonald, & Kefauver. In 1935 he married Nancy Pigott of Glasgow, Scotland, eight years his junior, whom he had met during her visit to relatives in Chattanooga. They raised four children, one of them adopted. Mrs. Kefauver died in 1967.