Estes Kefauver was born in Madisonville, Tennessee, on 26th July, 1903. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1924. Kefauver then moved on to the law department of Yale University and was admitted to the bar in 1926.
Kefauver became a lawyer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1927. A member of the Democratic Party Kefauver was elected to Congress and served between September, 1939 and January, 1949. He was then elected to the Senate. As chairman of the Senate crime investigating committee in 1950 and 1951, Kefauver attracted nationwide publicity. His investigations resulted in the book, Crime in America (1951).
Kefauver was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956. However, Adlai Stevenson selected him to be his running mate in 1956, but they were defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon of the Republican Party.
A supporter of civil rights legislation, Kefauver won reelection in 1960 after overcoming the active opposition of the segregationists in Tennessees Democratic primary.
Estes Kefauver died in the naval hospital at Bethesda, Maryland, on 10th August, 1963.