Is Kevin McCarthy Related to Joseph McCarthy? The Truth Behind the Rumors

Many people have wondered if Kevin McCarthy, the current speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is related to Joseph McCarthy, the notorious senator who led a witch hunt against alleged communists in the 1950s. The answer is no. Although both are politicians and share surnames, the two are not related by blood.

Who is Kevin McCarthy?

Kevin Owen McCarthy (born January 26, 1965) is an American politician who is the 55th and current speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, McCarthy represents California’s 20th congressional district. 

Born in Bakersfield, California, McCarthy graduated from California State University, Bakersfield. He served as a member of the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2006, the same year he was first elected to the U.S. House. McCarthy served as the House Republican chief deputy whip from 2009 to 2011 and then as the House majority whip from 2011 to 2014.   In 2019, he was elected House minority leader. 

When Joe Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, McCarthy supported Donald Trump’s debunked claims of voter fraud and initially participated in efforts to overturn the results. After the U.S. Capitol was stormed during the 2021 electoral vote count, McCarthy reversed his previous comments on voter fraud in the election and blamed Trump for the riot.     By 2022, he had publicly reconciled with Trump.

Who is Joseph McCarthy?

Joseph Raymond McCarthy (November 14, 1908 – May 2, 1957) was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. senator from Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. He is best known for his role in the anti-communist hysteria of the early Cold War era, which became known as McCarthyism.

McCarthy claimed that he had a list of Communists who had infiltrated the upper echelons of the U.S. government, military, and media. He used his position as the chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to launch aggressive and often unsubstantiated investigations and hearings that ruined the careers and reputations of many innocent people.

McCarthy’s tactics were widely criticized by his colleagues, the press, and the public. He was eventually censured by the Senate in 1954 for his conduct and lost much of his influence and popularity. He died of hepatitis in 1957 at age 48.

Are Kevin and Joseph McCarthy related?

There is no connection between Joseph and Kevin McCarthy except for their surname and the fact that their ancestors were from Ireland. According to Britannica , Kevin’s family has lived in Kern county (in which Bakersfield is located) for four generations. According to Wikipedia , Joseph was born and raised in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, and resided there his entire life.

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