Birth Name: Milton Jerrold Shapiro
Date of Birth: June 25, 1912
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Date of Death: November 24, 1994
Place of Death: Merion, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish
Milton Shapp was an American politician. A Democrat, he served as Governor of Pennsylvania, from January 19, 1971 to January 16, 1979.
He was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1976.
Milton was the son of Eva R. (Smelsky/Smelsey) and Aaron L. Shapiro. His father was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. His mother was born in New Jersey, also to Russian Jewish parents.
He was married to Muriel Matzkin, with whom he had three children.
Milton’s paternal grandfather was named Isaac Shapiro.
Milton’s paternal grandmother was named Mary Mendelsohn.
Milton’s maternal grandfather was named Manuel Smelsky.
Milton was the first person of Jewish religion to mount a major campaign for President of the United States.
Two people of Jewish heritage have been nominated for President of the United States by a major party. Barry Goldwater, nominated by the Republican Party in 1964, was the first (Goldwater was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, and was raised an Episcopalian). John Kerry, nominated by the Democratic Party in 2004, was the second (Kerry’s paternal grandparents were born Jewish, though Kerry’s father and Kerry himself were raised Catholic).
Joe Lieberman, who is Jewish, was nominated for Vice President of the United States by the Democratic Party in 2000.
Five people of Jewish heritage have won a major party’s Presidential caucus and/or primary:
*Barry Goldwater (1964, the year he was nominated; Republican; won 7 state; Goldwater also sought the 1960 Republican nominations)
*John Kerry (2004, the year he was nominated; Democratic; won 51 contests)
*Wesley Clark (who sought the 2004 Democratic nomination; won 1 state, Oklahoma; Clark was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, and is a practicing Catholic)
*Bernie Sanders (who sought the Democratic nomination in 2016 and 2020; in 2016, he won 23 contests; in 2020, he won 9 contests)
*Michael Bloomberg (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; won 1 territory, American Samoa)
Of the five, Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg are Jewish by religion, and Sanders is the first person of Jewish religion to have won a caucus and/or primary for a major American political party’s Presidential nomination (the 2016 New Hampshire primary).
Other people of significant Jewish heritage who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*Larry Agran (who sought the 1992 Democratic nomination)
*Arlen Specter (who sought the 1996 Republican nomination)
*Joe Lieberman (who sought the 2004 Democratic nomination)
*John H. Cox (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Fred Karger (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination)
*Marianne Williamson (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
*Michael Bennet (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
*Tom Steyer (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination)
Agran, Specter, Lieberman, Karger, and Williamson were/are all Jewish by religion. Bennet and Steyer were raised in mixed-faith households, Bennet with a Jewish mother and Steyer with a Jewish father.
Kirsten Gillibrand, a Catholic with a Jewish great-grandfather, also sought the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Source: Milton Shapp on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org