Thomas Gardiner Corcoran

Thomas Gardiner Corcoran

Thomas Gardiner Corcoran (1900-1981) was one of several Irish American [E.T. O'Donnell's "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History"] advisors in Franklin D. Roosevelt's brain trust during the New Deal, and later, a close friend and advisor to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Corcoran was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and educated at Brown University (where he was class valedictorian) [ [ Brown Alumni Magazine - The Power Broler ] ] and Harvard Law School. In 1932, after practicing corporate law in New York, Corcoran joined the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. When Roosevelt began to take notice of his efforts, Corcoran was given a wider range of responsibilities than his official position as assistant general counsel allowed. He organized administrative agencies for various New Deal programs and assisted in drafting such legislation as the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Much of his work during the New Deal was in conjunction with Benjamin V. Cohen. Together Corcoran and Cohen were known as the "gold dust twins" and were on the [,16641,19380912,00.html cover] of TIME Magazine's [,16641,19380912,00.html " September 12, 1938, edition "] . Nicknamed "Tommy the Cork" by Roosevelt, Corcoran was the outgoing yang to Cohen's shy and retiring yin.

Corcoran's work after leaving government service led him to be dubbed the first of the modern lobbyists. [David Mckean, "Peddling Influence: Thomas "Tommy the Cork" Corcoran and the Birth of Modern Lobbying"]


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