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Photograph of Chester Bowles on “Meet the Press,” May 8, 1960.
Chester Bowles Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Elizabeth Campbell ’09, Chester Bowles: Intellectual or Politician?

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Although Chester Bowles was still a United States Congressman in 1960, he appeared on this May 1960 episode of “Meet The Press” as John F. Kennedy’s adviser and as the lead representative of the Democratic Party’s platform in the upcoming presidential election. These roles likely informed Kennedy’s eventual appointment of Bowles as Under Secretary of State. By this time, Bowles had served as Governor of Connecticut, Ambassador to India, and U.S. Representative from Connecticut. Bowles knew Kennedy well; the two had previously worked together on aid packages for India and Pakistan. Bowles was initially reticent to serve as Kennedy’s adviser, however, as he was close with Adlai Stevenson, another potential presidential candidate.

In this photograph, Bowles has solidified his current role as public servant. He has made the plunge into politics, has decided to stay, and appears quite comfortable. Ned Brooks, the moderator of "Meet the Press," is pictured on Bowles’s left.