Abraham Ribicoff – Hartford Courant file image

Abraham Alexander Ribicoff (1910–1998)

Born in New Britain in 1910 to Jewish immigrants from Poland, Abraham Alexander Ribicoff attended local area schools, and after graduating from high school, worked at the G.E. Prentice Company to save money for college. In 1928, he enrolled in New York University, but shortly after transferred to the University of Chicago. He graduated from law school in 1933 and eventually opened his own practice before entering politics as a member of the state legislature in 1938. Ribicoff then won election to the 81st and 82nd Congresses where he served until 1953. In 1955, he defeated Republican governor John Davis Lodge to become Connecticut’s first Jewish governor. Ribicoff’s run as governor ended in 1961 when he took a position as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. The following year he won election to the US Senate and served from 1963 to 1981.


Governor Ribicoff

Abraham Ribicoff: Kennedy Confidant and Connecticut’s First Jewish Governor

Abraham Ribicoff rose from a New Britain tenement to become Connecticut's first Jewish governor and a confidant of President John F. Kennedy. …[more]

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Congress.gov. “Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff: Legislation Sponsored or Cosponsored by Abraham A. Ribicoff,” 2014. Link.


Connecticut Digital Archive. “Abraham Ribicoff Collection,” n.d. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Finding Aid to Inventory of Records Office of the Governor: Abraham Ribicoff (1955-1961): RG 005:033,” 2009. Link.
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford. “Finding Aid to the Abraham Ribicoff Collection,” 2014. Link.
University of Connecticut Libraries, Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. “Finding Aid to the Abraham Ribicoff Papers,” 2014. Link.
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. “Finding Aid to the Abraham Ribicoff Papers, 1927-1981,” 2014. Link.


Ribicoff, Abraham. America Can Make It! New York, NY: Atheneum, 1972.
Ribicoff, Abraham, and John O. Newman. Politics: The American Way. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1967.


New York Times. “Ribicoff of Connecticut Dies; Governor and Senator Was 87.” February 23, 1998, sec. NY Region. Link.