Former Rep. Barney Frank’s Legacy at UMass Dartmouth and New Book
Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank is the subject of a new book, and his papers are available for inspection at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus.
Barnett "Barney" Frank was born March 31, 1940, in Bayonne, New Jersey, and represented the 4th Massachusetts Congressional District from 1981-2013. Redistricting over the years changed the boundaries of Frank's congressional district that at times included New Bedford and Fall River.
Biography.com states Frank graduated from Harvard College in 1962 and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in government. He worked for Boston Mayor Kevin White and Congressman Michael Harrington.
In 1972, Frank, a Democrat, was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served eight years while attending Harvard Law School. Frank passed the bar exam in 1979.
Frank served as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2003 - 2012 and its chairman from 2007.
Biography.com says, in May 1987, "Frank, the first congressman to ever publicly announce his homosexuality, said that one of his reasons for doing so was that he didn't want to end up like closeted bisexual Republican Connecticut Congressman Stewart McKinney: After McKinney's death, on May 7, 1987, media speculation arose regarding whether or not he was gay."
"I don't want that to happen to me," Frank told the Washington Post in 1987. After deciding not to seek re-election to Congress, Frank spoke again to the Post in 2012 about his sexuality and its impact on his political career.
On July 7, 2012, Frank married his longtime partner Jim Ready of Ogunquit, Maine in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The couple spends at least half the year living in Maine.
Frank donated his congressional papers to Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections. The Barney Frank Archives Reading Room is located on the Claire T. Carney Library's third floor, northeast corner, room 353.
In May 2022, longtime Frank staffer Eric Orner released an illustrated book about his former boss, Smahtguy: The Life and Times of Barney Frank. The book is available in paperback or on Kindle.