Thursday, July 8, 2010

In Memoriam: "Mim" Daddario

Submitted by William Corvo

Emilio Q. “Mim” Daddario, athlete, lawyer, war hero, Congressman and family man passed away suddenly at his home in Washington, D.C. He was ninety-one. 
      Born in Newton Center, Massachusetts on September 24, 1918 he attended Tilton Academy in Tilton, New Hampshire and Newtown Country Day School in Massachusetts before entering Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Mim achieved an unparalleled record as an athlete. A standout running back he was the captain of the Wesleyan football team his senior year. He was also a powerful hitter on the baseball field, hitting .500 his senior year. Daddario was named to the Wesleyan University Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year. It was while attending Wesleyan University that Daddario met and married the love of his life, Berenice Carbo.

      After graduating from Wesleyan he attended Boston University Law School and transferred to the University of Connecticut School of Law from which he graduated in 1942. He was a member of both the Massachusetts and Connecticut Bar Associations. He began his law practice in Middletown, Connecticut in 1942 working with Attorney Vincent Scamporino. The following year Daddario enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and he was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services where he served with Scamporino and Biagio “Max” Corvo working in the OSS SI (Secret Intelligence) Italian Section. During the final stages of the Italian campaign, Daddario was transferred to work as a liaison between the Italian Section and the Swiss Section of OSS which was under the command of Allen Dulles. In the last weeks of the war in Italy Daddario led a special mission into the Milan area where he personally captured General Rodolfo Graziani, Mussonlini’s Chief of Staff.  Daddario was awarded the Legion of Merit and also received the Italian Medaglia d’Argento. He remained active in the National Guard and later saw active duty in the Korean War serving with the 43rd Division of the Connecticut National Guard with the Far East Liaison Group in Korea and Japan.

      Politically active, Daddario first sought elective office in Middletown, Connecticut when he ran for Mayor in 1946. After two terms as Mayor he was appointed a Judge of the Middletown Municipal Court.  In 1952, following his service in Korea he returned to Connecticut where he opened his law office in Hartford as a Senior Partner in the firm of Daddario, Slitt, Jacobs & Sullivan.  In 1958 Daddario won the Democrat nomination for Congress and was successfully elected. He was elected to a total of six terms and established an excellent record as one of the most knowledgeable Congressman in matters of technology and science.   While in Congress he was a member of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Development; a member of the Manned Space Flight Subcommittee; Chairman of the Special Subcommittee on Patents and Scientific Inventions. In 1970 Daddario sought the Democrat nomination for Governor of the State of Connecticut. The Democrat Party was badly divided with newcomer Joseph Duffy challenging the hand- picked party nominee for the U.S. Senate Alphonse Donohue.  Duffy won the nomination for U.S. Senate and Daddario ran as Governor however the division within party ranks remained and impacted the Governor’s race. Popular Republican Congressman Thomas Me skill defeated Daddario in the November election while Republican candidate Lowell Weicker beat Duffy.  It was the last time that Daddario would seek public office.

      Returning to private life he moved quickly into the business world where he was named a senior Vice President of Gulf & Western Precision Engineering Group a division of Gulf & Western Industries, Inc.

      In 1973 with the strong support of Senator Ted Kennedy, Mim Daddario was named to be the first Director of a new agency- The Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress- a position which he held through 1977.  In 1976 he was elected President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the 1977 term and in 1978 served as its Chairman. In 1978 Daddario joined the Washington law firm of Wilkes, Artis, Hedrick and Lane as Of Counsel.

      Daddario served on the Board of Trustees of Wesleyan University, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and The Nutrition Foundation. He also served as a Member on the council on Foreign Relations and was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He was a Member of the Institute of Medicine where he served on its Executive Committee and also served as the Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1971 he served as a Visiting Professor at MIT.

      Emilio Daddario was predeceased by his wife Berenice who passed away in 2008. He is survived by his three sons, Anthony Daddario of Philadelphia, Stephen Daddario of Washington and Richard Daddario of New York, seven grandchildren and his sister Laura Giuffrida of Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

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