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Joseph McCarthy was born on farm in Wisconsin on 14th November, 1908. He was the son of devout Roman Catholics and fifth of nine children. At the age of 14, he left school and worked on a chicken farm after which he managed a grocery store in Manawa. In 1928, McCarthy went back to high school and was later accepted to Marquette University. After graduating, he became a lawyer but most of his income went to poker which caused him to be fairly unsuccessful. McCarthy was originally for Roosevelt and The New Deal, but after failing to become the Democratic Party candidate for district attorney, he switched parties. He became the Republican Party candidate in an election to become a circuit judge. Many local officials were shocked by McCarthy who was fighting a dirty campaign. This included publishing campaign literature that falsely claimed that his opponent, Edgar Werner, was 73. He was actually 66. As well as suggesting that Werner was senile, McCarthy implied that he was guilty of financial corruption.

In 1950, while giving a speech McCarthy claimed that communists had "infested" the State Department. He dramatically waved a sheet of paper which supposedly had the names of the traitors written on it. A investigation was started by a special Senate committee which found the charges groundless. McCarthy used his position in the government to start a relentless anti-communists crusade. With little to no proof, McCarthy relied on accusations, rumors, and lies to tarnish his opponents' reputations.

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