Martin L. Sweeney
Sweeney in 1939
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Ohio's 20th district
November 3, 1931 - January 3, 1943
|Charles A. Mooney|
|Michael A. Feighan|
Martin Leonard Sweeney
April 15, 1885
|Died||May 1, 1960 (aged 75)|
|Resting place||Calvary Cemetery|
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sweeney attended parochial and public schools in the area. Prior to his political career Sweeney worked as a laborer, hoisting engineer and a salesman from 1901-1913. He served as a member of the State House of Representatives in 1913 and 1914, and graduated from the Cleveland Law School of Baldwin-Wallace College in 1914. Sweeney was admitted to the bar that same year and begin practicing law in Cleveland. From 1924-32 Sweeney was judge of the municipal court of Cleveland, and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1932. From 1927 to 1931, Sweeney was national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Sweeney was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles A. Mooney. He was re-elected to the Seventy-third and the four succeeding Congresses, serving from November 3, 1931, to January 3, 1943.
In the summer of 1940, a bill establishing a peacetime military draft, H.R. 10132, was introduced. Sweeney denounced the bill as an attempt to drag America into World War II on the side of Great Britain. Beverly Vincent (D-KY) said Sweeney was a traitor and a "son of a bitch." Sweeney swung at Vincent, and Vincent landed a hard right to Sweeney's head. The House doorkeeper called it the best fistfight he had witnessed in the House in his fifty years at his post.
Sweeney was an unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination in 1942 after being targeted for his stand against British Lend Lease and his alleged isolationism. He was defeated in the primary by Michael Feighan, who represented Cleveland in Congress for the next twenty-eight years.
He was unsuccessful for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Cleveland in 1933 and in 1941, and for the gubernatorial nomination in 1944. He practiced law in Cleveland until his death there May 1, 1960. He was interred in Calvary Cemetery.
His daughter was married to the son of Cuyahoga County Sheriff Martin O'Donnell (1886-1941).
His first cousin was Dr. Francis E. Sweeney, [1894-1964] the prime suspect in the Cleveland Torso Murders (1934-1938)
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.