ALS Awareness Month Profile: Jacob Javits

Jacob Javits was an American politician who represented New York in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He identified himself as a liberal Republican, and worked alongside Governor Nelson Rockefeller and fellow Senators Irving Ives and
Kenneth Keating.

Javits went to New York University and later, established a law practice. However, he was appalled by the corruption of Tammany Hall, and joined the Republican Party. In his political career, Javits was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1946 and served in that body until 1954. In the House, Javits supported President Harry S. Truman’s Cold War foreign policy and voted to fund the Marshall Plan. Javits defeated Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. in the 1954 election for Attorney General of New York and defeated Democrat Robert F. Wagner Jr. in the 1956 Senate election. He won re-election to the Senate in 1962 and 1968.

As a result of his work in politics, Javits was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. In 1986, the New York Jacob K Javits Convention Center was named in his honor. Jacob Javits died of ALS in 1986 in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife and three children.