Barry M. Goldwater was a businessman, five-term United States Senator from Arizona, and the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 1964 election.
Goldwater was born in Phoenix in what was then the Arizona Territory. His family ran Goldwater’s, the largest department store in Phoenix, which had been founded by his grandfather. After the death of his father, he dropped out of college to help his family run the store. During World War II, he received a reserve commission in the United States Air Force and flew supplies to war zones around the world.
He entered the world of politics in the late 1940s, being elected to the Phoenix City Council. He was instrumental in the rebuilding of the Arizona Republican Party, and in 1952 upset veteran Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland in his first national election. He served in Congress from 1953 until 1965, when he elected not to run for re-election during his presidential bid, and again from 1969 until 1987.
Goldwater was married to the former Margaret Johnson from 1934 until her death in 1985; the couple had four children. In 1992, he wed Susan Shaffer.
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