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Thomas L. Ashley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas L. Ashley
Thomas W. L. Ashley 95th Congress 1977.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byFrazier Reams
Succeeded byEd Weber
Personal details
Thomas William Ludlow Ashley

(1923-01-11)January 11, 1923
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJune 15, 2010(2010-06-15) (aged 87)
Leland, Michigan, U.S.
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Kathleen Lucey
(m. 1967; died 1997)
Alma materYale University (BA)
Ohio State University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Thomas William Ludlow "Lud" Ashley (January 11, 1923 – June 15, 2010) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served as a U.S. representative from Ohio from 1955 to 1981.[1]

Early life and education

Ashley is listed second from the top on the Skull and Bones entry in the 1948 Yale Banner.
Ashley is listed second from the top on the Skull and Bones entry in the 1948 Yale Banner.

Ashley was born on January 11, 1923 in Toledo, Ohio, and raised on the Old West End. He was the son of Mary Alida Gouverneur (née Ludlow) Ashley and William Meredith Ashley,[2] who owned a small steel manufacturing firm. His older brother William was killed in May 1944, at age 22, when his Army bomber exploded during a training mission over Massachusetts.[3]

His maternal grandmother was Harriet Frances Putnam (née Carnochan) Ludlow, a direct descendant of Declaration of Independence signer Lewis Morris and Thomas William Ludlow III.[2] Among his great-grandfathers were James Mitchell Ashley, who was also a congressman from Ohio (who left the Democratic Party because of his anti-slavery beliefs), and John Murray Carnochan, a surgeon who performed the first successful neurosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia.[4]

Ashley attended Maumee Valley Country Day School and graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut in 1942.[5] During World War II, he served in the United States Army as a corporal in the Pacific Theater of Operations. After the war, Ashley attended Yale University, where he graduated in 1948. At Yale, he was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones along with future U.S. President George H. W. Bush.[6]

After graduating from Yale, Ashley worked with the Toledo Publicity and Efficiency Commission. Encouraged by Michael DiSalle, then mayor of Toledo and later governor of Ohio, he began studying law through night classes at the University of Toledo College of Law. He graduated from Ohio State University College of Law in 1951. He was admitted to the bar that year and began practicing law.


Ashley joined the staff of Radio Free Europe (RFE) in 1952. He served in Europe for RFE as the co-director of the press section and later the assistant director of special projects. He resigned from RFE on March 1, 1954, to run for Congress.[3]

U.S. Congress

Ashley was elected to Congress in 1954, beating the incumbent Frazier Reams, an independent, by 4,000 votes in a three-way race. He served 13 terms in Congress and was chairman of the Select Committee on Energy (Ad Hoc) from 1977 to 1979 and of the United States House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries from 1979 to 1981.[3]

In 1961, Ashley was one of six congressmen who voted to withdraw funding for the House Un-American Activities Committee. He helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and was a proponent of anti-poverty and housing legislation.[3]

In 1980, Ashley lost in an upset to Republican challenger Ed Weber.[7]

Later career

Ashley was a member of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum board and served on many corporate boards, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's two largest mortgage lenders.[3]

Personal life

Ashley was twice married. He married Margaret Mary Sherman in 1956 but they separated shortly thereafter. He married Kathleen Lucey in 1967 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton, New Jersey.[5] Kathleen, the daughter of Charley Lucey (editor of The Times Newspapers in Trenton), was a graduate of Trinity College and Georgetown Law School and the Washington editor for the United States Savings and Loan League.[5] They had three children:[3]

  • Lise Ashley, who married Steven Francis Xavier Murphy, a son of Major General Dennis J. Murphy.[8]
  • William Meredith Ashley, who married Monica Ann Manginello in 2008.[9]
  • Mark Michael Ashley

Kathleen Ashley died of heart failure at George Washington University Hospital in 1997.[10] Lud Ashley lived in Leland, Michigan, until his death from melanoma at his home on June 15, 2010.[3] After his death, George H. W. Bush said in a statement that he and Barbara Bush "mourn the loss of a very close friend" and said Ashley "might well have been my very best friend in life."[3]


  1. ^ "Former Congressman Ashley dies at age 87; known as 'Mr. Housing'". Toledo Blade. June 15, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b of 1880, Harvard College (1780-) Class (1920). Fortieth Anniversary Report. Harvard College. p. 233. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Zaborney, Mark (June 16, 2010). "Congressman known for aiding housing, civil rights dies at 87". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Death of Dr. Carnochan; Stricken with Apoplexy in His Bath--His Career" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 October 1887. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "T.L. Ashley Weds Kathleen Lucey" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 August 1967. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ Robbins, Alexandra (2002). Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-72091-7.
  7. ^ Press, The Associated (16 June 2010). "Thomas L. Ashley, Ex-Ohio Democratic Congressman, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  8. ^ "MURPHY STEVEN FRANCIS XAVIER". The Washington Post. October 4, 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Monica Manginello, Meredith Ashley". The New York Times. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  10. ^ "KATHLEEN LUCEY ASHLEY, Editor". Washington Post. October 14, 1997. Retrieved 17 May 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Frazier Reams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ed Weber
Political offices
Preceded by
John M. Murphy
New York
Chairman of House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee
Succeeded by
Walter B. Jones, Sr.
North Carolina
This page was last edited on 6 September 2020, at 07:02
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