Thomas Terry “Tom” Connally was an American politician, who represented Texas in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives (D). He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1917 to 1929, and in the U.S. Senate from 1929 to 1953.
Connally ran unopposed and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1900 and 1902. During his tenure in the Texas House he was a prominent opponent of monopolies and co-authored the Texas Anti-Trust Law of 1903. After 1904, he left state politics to pursue his legal career, and served as the prosecuting attorney for Falls County from 1906 to 1910. In 1916, he made his first foray into national politics by running for the vacant House seat for the 11th Congressional District of Texas. After resigning his office to fight in World War I, Connally returned to the House where he served on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and worked against isolationist policies.
In 1928 Connally was elected to the U.S. Senate. During his time in the Senate he supported Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation through the passage of the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935, which attempted to circumvent the Supreme Court of the United States’ rejection of a key part of New Deal legislation.
During most of his tenure in the Senate Connally was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and served as chairman from 1941 to 1947, and 1949 to 1953. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was instrumental in the ratification of the treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
He was also a member and vice-chairman of the United Nations Conference on International Organization in 1945 that chartered the United Nations. He authored the noted “Connally Amendment,” which amended the U.S. ratification of the U.N. charter to bar the International Court of Justice from having jurisdiction over domestic matters “as determined by the United States.”
In 1953, Connally retired from the Senate, ending his career in national politics.