He was educated in the public schools of Armstrong and Westmoreland counties, the Naval Station Great Lakes, and through correspondence school courses.
He operated the Kelden Coal & Coke Company of Hunker, and the Building & Transportation Company of Trafford, and Jeannette. He was a Jeannette City Councilman from 1932 to 1934. He served in the United States Marine Air Corps from 1924 to 1928.
He was the Democratic Floor Leader in the State Senate from 1939 until 1958.
He was elected in 1958 as a Democrat to the 85th United States Congress, by special election, January 21, 1958, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Augustine Kelley, and was reelected to the ten succeeding Congresses. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1978.
He was a member of the local council of the United Rubber Workers from 1923 to 1937, and served as president of Local 18759, on the executive council, and as a member of the international council. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1935 to 1936, and a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1937 to 1958.