top of page

War Hero and U.S. Senator Danny Brewster
had it all, 
and it nearly killed him.
What happened?

  • Born into high society, fabulous wealth, descended from national leaders and business tycoons, and a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin.

  • As the oldest of five children, became the “man of the house” at age ten when his father suddenly died.

  • Four-sport varsity athlete, football team captain, and school president at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH.

  • Employed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as staff members at the same time for their first jobs on Capitol Hill.

  • Only Marylander to win a presidential primary, defeating Alabama Governor George C. Wallace in 1964.

  • Debated Governor Wallace on national television, ABC’s “Issues and Answers,” moderated by Howard K. Smith.

  • Victory over Governor Wallace directly led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • Only Democratic U.S. Senator south of Mason-Dixon who cosponsored both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

  • Wounded seven times in combat in WW2, including being shot in the head and stabbed in the arm and, at age 19, was reportedly the youngest Marine Corps combat officer in WW2. Saw carnage on Guam and Okinawa, losing most of his troops, which he detailed in his graphic war diary.

  • Served on active duty in Vietnam as both a Marine Corps Colonel and as an Armed Services Committee member of the United States Senate.

  • Married three times, engaged four times, including twice (twenty years apart) to Anne Bullitt, the daughter of diplomat William C. Bullitt, the first U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Brewster’s first wife, Carol Leiper de Havenon, was a cover girl, model, and actress. His third (and last) wife, Judy Aarsand, to whom he was happily married for the rest of his life, was a West Virginia cheerleader he met in rehab.

  • Owned the 450-acre “Worthington Farms,” home of the internationally renowned “Maryland Hunt Cup” the world’s oldest and toughest steeplechase race; and “Windy Meadows Farm.”

  • Founding partner in “Turnbull, Brewster, Boone, Maguire, Brennan, and Cook”, the most powerful law firm in Maryland, partners with Maryland’s Senate Majority Leader John Grason Turnbull and Speaker of the House A. Gordon Boone.

  • Elected to Maryland House of Delegates at age 26, Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, elected to United States House of Representatives at age 34, elected to the United States Senate at age 38 (becoming one of the youngest United States Senators in our nation’s history), became Maryland’s Senior Senator and ascended into Senate Leadership, won twelve consecutive elections, including a presidential primary.

  • Friend and confidant of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and other Washington insiders, including Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy.

  • Sponsored legislation to create the Assateague Island National Seashore and chaired the subcommittee that established the Endangered Species Act.

  • Refused to support segregationist Democratic nominee for Governor, enabling Spiro Agnew to become Governor and Vice President and opening the door for Gerald Ford’s Presidency.

  • Legendary in Senate history for presiding over the United States Senate and adjourning the Senate while another Senator was speaking, which was unprecedented.

  • Wrote love letters while presiding over the United States Senate.

  • Fell into the depths of alcoholism and lost 1968 Senate reelection to best friend and law school roommate, Republican Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., in a three-way race.

  • Retreated to palatial Irish estate of second wife Anne Bullitt, whose marriage to Brewster is her fourth. Anne is the first licensed woman horse trainer in Ireland. Her Palmerstown Stud was the largest horse farm in Ireland.

  • An indictment for bribery is dismissed. Appeals reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which twice hears the Brewster case, issuing a historic opinion interpreting Constitution’s “Speech and Debate Clause.” Brewster is tried and convicted of a lesser offense but, represented by Washington super-lawyer Edward Bennett Williams, wins on appeal but is to be retried. After six disastrous years of litigation, Brewster pleads no contest to a single count of “Accepting Unlawful Gratuity Without Corrupt Intent” and is fined $10,000.

  • Recordings in the Oval Office of President Richard Nixon reveal that Nixon ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to use the Danny Brewster case to pressure Senate Democrats and Senate Watergate Chair Sam Ervin to back off their Watergate investigation.

  • Contemplating suicide, he put his Marine-issued Colt 45 pistol to his head, which he did more than once.

  • Brother Walter broke down the door and took him to rehab, where he met his third wife, Judy Aarsand, on kitchen duty.

  • Third marriage produced three more children, for a total of seven: two of his, two of hers, and three of theirs.

  • Returned to riding in steeplechase races at age 54, his passion of 30 years earlier.

  • Chaired the Boards of the Franklin Square Hospital, the Helix Health System (now MedStar Health), the Korean War Memorial Commission, the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Governor’s AIDS Commission.

  • Served on the Boards of the Former Members of Congress, the National Recreation and Parks Association, the Maryland Greenways Commission, the Maryland Port Commission, and served as an alcoholism counselor at Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and more.

  • After fighting the Japanese, alcoholism, divorces, the federal government, depression, PTSD, and years of cancer, Daniel Baugh Brewster died at home with his family at his side. He was 83.

bottom of page