Mark Shaw (Mark R. Shaw): Prohibition Leader

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

Shaw was a leader in the Intercollegiate Prohibition Association. During the time of his leadership it was the second-largest college student group in the US.

Later, Mark Shaw was the Prohibition Party candidate for a number of public offices.

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

Rev. 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.

Mark Shaw

Temperance Roots

Mark Shaw
Mark R. Shaw

His temperance roots were both in his religion and his family. Shaw’s father had been an preacher. 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.