Biography of Hon. William A. O’Hearn
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HON. WILLIAM A. O’HEARN – A figure of the moment (1924) in the “Old Bay State” is Senator O’Hearn, who has formally entered the race for the second highest office in the Commonwealth. As a local servant of the people, as a representative to the Lower House of the State Legislature, and as a distinguished member of the State Senate Senator O’Hearn has proved himself worthy of the most unreserved confidence and highest esteem of the people of this State, and in his candidacy for Lieutenant-Governor both he and his friends feel great confidence of success. That he has countless friends in all parts of the State would argue conclusively for his victory at the polls, and in his ever forward looking attitude and his intense loyalty to the sovereign people his sincerity is unquestioned and is universally recognized.
William A. O’Hearn was born at North Adams, March 8, 1887. Receiving his early education in the public schools of his birthplace, he was graduated from Drury High School in the class of 1905. Taking up his professional preparations at Georgetown University, in Washington, District of Columbia, he was graduated from the law department of that institution in the class of 1909. At once establishing his office in the city of his birth and lifelong residence, Mr. O’Hearn entered upon the practice of the law with this excellent equipment, and from the beginning he has enjoyed marked success. His success at the bar and his exhaustive familiarity with legal precedent and practice early came to the general attention, and in 1914 he was made clerk of the Northern Berkshire District Court, serving in that capacity until 1919 with efficiency and faithfulness.
Meanwhile, Mr. O’Hearn’s political activities had carried him to definite distinction. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives by his district and served in that body during the years 1911 and 1912. His excellent work, both for the Commonwealth and for the locality which he represented, was not forgotten by political leaders in subsequent years, and the voice of the people was quick and decisive in ratifying their nominations when Mr. O’Hearn was made candidate for State Senator. In the Upper House of the Massachusetts State Legislature, he was received as an influential colleague, and during his service there he was, active on the committee of judiciary bills, also the committee of power and light, and his strong and forceful speeches carried wide influence in the Senate. Perhaps Senator O’Hearn’s greatest power as an orator is in the faultless finesse, which marks his approach to any controversy. His logic is convincing, while at the same time his conclusions are accepted as those of the master mind. There can be no doubt that the underlying reason for the strength of Senator O’Hearn’s: influence on the platform lies in his sound American principles. These cannot better be expressed than by quoting his own words as follows:
“I believe that public office is a public trust and not private property; that the citizen is the source of all governmental authority; that governments derive their just powers with the consent of the governed and that all citizens, insofar as is consistent with good order, be left free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
“If my record on Beacon Hill, both as a member of the House of Representatives and as a Democratic leader in the State Senate for old-fashioned Americanism and for equal rights for all and special privileges for none is endorsed by the Democratic voters I will go before all the people of the Commonwealth at the November election, confident of success.”
The Democratic party in the western part of the State is unanimous for Senator O’Heam as candidate for Lieutenant-Governor. While the fact is recognized by both himself and his friends, that by far the larger population centers in the eastern part of the Commonwealth, the Party leaders are unanimous in their enthusiasm for his candidacy. From the time when Senator O’Heam sold newspapers on the streets, through his entire struggle for his education and to his present successful position, Senator O’Hearn has always made friends, and his lofty idealism has always held them. He devotes himself largely to his work and to the service of the people, holding few affiliations with organized advance. He is, however, a member of the Alhambra, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Hibernians, Eagles, Moose, the Knights of Columbus and the Rotary Club. His religious affiliation is with the Roman Catholic Church.
William A. O’Hearn married Katharine Doherty, and they are the parents of two sons: William A., Jr., and Robert J.