Jul 31, 2016 10:56 AM
Former NH governor who battled depression and left a lasting legacy will get his due
CONCORD - A three-term New Hampshire governor, the first leader of the Social Security Administration and U.S. ambassador to Britain during World War II, John Gilbert Winant privately fought depression and debt.
That fight ended in 1947, when he shot himself, just as his memoirs were about to be published. He was 58.
Now, a group is raising money for a statue of Winant, in the hopes that Winnant's legacy - and a better recognition of mental health problems - will come into the public discourse.
“I hope it allows us to finally have an adult conversation about mental suffering that we’ve never had,” John Broderick, a former state Supreme Court chief justice and part of a new statewide project on mental health awareness, told the Concord Monitor. Broderick said that he believes that if Winant had not died of suicide, more people would have heard of him.
Broderick’s own son, whose suffered from mental illness, attacked him in 2002 and went to prison before getting help.
The bronze statue, created by Missouri artist J. Brett Grill, will be dedicated next spring.
According to state Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Concord), who is the project leader, some of the money raised will go to scholarships.
The statue will sit in plaza before the New Hampshire State Library, facing the New Hampshire State House. For more information, visit The Winant Memorial website.