John E. Fogarty Centennial Celebration and Symposium
Honorary Committee Members
- The Honorable Melvin R. Laird, Chairman
- Sen. Jack Reed
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
- Rep. David N. Cicilline
- Rep. James R. Langevin
- Gov. and Mrs. Lincoln D. Chafee
- Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts
Rhode Island State House Centennial Reception and presentation of the John E. Fogarty Centennial Wall
The Fogarty Foundation for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities began its Centennial Year, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of its founder, John E. Fogarty, at the State House in Providence, Rhode Island on January 10, 2013. Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, Congressmen David Cicilline and James Langevin and Senate President Theresa Paiva-Weed paid tribute to John Fogarty, Everybody’s Congressman. Patrick T. Conley, State Historian Laureate, delivered an address about the Congressman and his work to better mankind.
John Fogarty’s tenure in the House of Representatives brought extraordinary advances in the fields of labor, health, education and welfare all overseen by his Appropriations Sub-committee. Some of his most outstanding accomplishments came in the field of health where he was often referred to as the “Champion of Better Health for the Nation” and “Mr. Public Health.” His contributions to better health were far reaching and lead to the creation, after his death, of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. Three years before his death he created the Fogarty Foundation to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a cause very close to his heart. His work in this area began with meetings of local parents of children with IDD. In 1955 upon learning how little money was being spent in this area he fought for and secured the first Federal funding in the amount of $750,000 for activities in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. By 1967 he had increased this number to $334 Million. Congressman Fogarty understood well the importance of research in expanding healthcare. He authored landmark legislation that greatly increased funding for medical research and in turn increased the impact of national and international health initiatives that continue to benefit people the world over today.
The Rhode Island State House Centennial Reception on January 10th was the first in a series of events highlighting the historical role of John Fogarty in improving healthcare on a national and international level. Mr. Fogarty facilitated change in societal perspectives on disability and health, and the changing face of the disability movement and service options.