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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


A political scientist, a lawyer, an ambassador, a presidential cabinet member, and a U.S. senator, Daniel Patrick "Pat" Moynihan was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 16, 1927, to John and Margaret Phipps Moynihan. The elder Moynihan was briefly a reporter for the Tulsa Tribune, but the family moved within three years of Pat Moynihan's birth, and he was raised in Indiana and New York City. He attended City College of New York and Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, received Ph.D. and law degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and was a Fulbright Fellow in the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1950–51.

Moynihan's many positions included service as U.S. ambassador to India from 1973 to 1975, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations in 1975–76, and Democratic senator from New York from 1977 to January 2001. He served in the cabinet or subcabinet of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. As a scholar, Moynihan served on the faculties of Harvard, Syracuse, and Cornell universities, Russell Sage College, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. With sociologist Nathan Glazer he wrote Beyond the Melting Pot (1970), a seminal work that inspired a generation of scholars to study the meaning and significance of ethnicity in American history and life. Among Moynihan's many awards are the American Philosophical Society's 1993 Thomas Jefferson Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts and Humanities. After a period of ill health Daniel Patrick Moynihan died on March 26, 2003, in Washington, D.C.

Dianna Everett


Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1996 (Alexandria, Va.: CQ Staff Directories, 1997).

Godfrey Hodgson, The Gentleman from New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000).

Robert A. Katzmann, ed., Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).

Douglas E. Schoen, Pat: A Biography of Daniel Patrick Moynihan (New York: Harper & Row, 1979).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dianna Everett, “Moynihan, Daniel Patrick,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=MO031.

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