Mark Shaw (Mark R. Shaw): Prohibitionist

Mark Shaw was born January 22, 1889 and died June 4, 1978. He was a strong supporter of temperance and Prohibition.

Shaw was a leader in the Intercollegiate Prohibition Association. During the time of his leadership it was the second-largest college student movement in the US. Later, Mark Shaw was the Prohibition Party candidate for a number of public offices.

  • A U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. The years were 1946, 1952, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1966 and 1970.
  • The governorship of Massachusetts in 1948 and in 1956.
  • The vice-presidency of the United States in 1964.

After he was nominated for the vice-presidency, a

“woman wrote to him on a postcard:  ‘Do you really think that Prohibition is something that can stir support from the American people in this election?   I don’t.’  To this he replied:  ‘Neither do I.  But, I think it ought to, and that makes all the difference.'”1

Mark Shaw was a minister in the Methodist Church. He served as a missionary to Japan for five years before WW II. While there, he was mainly concerned with temperance.

Temperance Roots

Mark Shaw
Mark R. Shaw

His temperance roots were both in his religion and his family. Shaw’s father had been an evangelist. His mother had been a lecturer for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

Mark Shaw was also a dedicated pacifist.  In 1938, he joined the National Council for the Prevention of War. In 1941, he became secretary of it. He became editor of Peace Action in 1955 and was a leader in Democracy Unlimited. In 1960, he traveled to the Soviet Union. During his speeches for pacifism, he was routinely heckled. But he always expected it and took it in stride.

During his life Mark Shaw was a temperance supporter. A Prohibition Party candidate. Minister. Pacifist. Husband. Father. He led a full life.


1.  Mark Revell Shaw: Prohibition Party Vice-Presidential candidate in 1964. Prohibition Party website. References: Prohibition Party: Mark Revell Shaw

Political Graveyard: Mark R. Shaw