John A. Volpe Photos Online

Highlight Beebe Library’s Digital Wakefield History CollectionEisenhower and Volpe
Among the hundreds of historical images on Beebe Library’s web site ( are a number of images related to one of Wakefield’s favorite native sons, John A. Volpe.
Volpe was born on December 8, 1908 in the Water Street home of his Italian immigrant parents. A plaque marks the house of his birth. A Republican, Volpe was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1960, 1964 and 1966.

In 1968 he accepted the position of Secretary of Transportation in the administration of President Richard Nixon. In 1972, he became the first Italian-American to hold the position of US Ambassador to Italy. He served until 1977.

John A. Volpe died in 1994 and is buried in Forest Glade Cemetery in his hometown of Wakefield. The library at Wakefield High School is named in his honor, and maintains an extensive collection of material related to Volpe in its Volpe Archives.

The photos in Beebe Library’s digital collection highlight Volpe’s career and his influence on the national stage. Volpe is pictured with Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush.
John A. Volpe & Jackie Kennedy
First Lady Jackie Kennedy chats with Volpe in one of the photos, and others show Volpe in the company of Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston and Dr. Henry Kissinger.
In yet another picture, Volpe and his wife Jennie (Benedetto) Volpe can be seen in a wide angle photo taken in 1955 at the 25th reunion of the Wakefield High School Class of 1930. Volpe’s wife was member of the WHS Class of 1930. This particular image came from the collection of Dr. Elizabeth Upham, another member of that graduating class, who can also be seen in the reunion photo taken at the University Club in Boston.

The library’s digital collection also includes a number of photos from the collection of Dr. Upham, whose career as a teacher and administrator at Wakefield High School spanned decades.

The Volpe and Upham photo collections can be viewed at, along with the library’s extensive digital collection of Wakefield historical images.

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