Richard James Cushing (August 24, 1895 – November 2, 1970) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Boston from 1944 to 1970, and was created a cardinal in 1958. Cushing's main role was as fundraiser and builder of new churches, schools, and institutions. He was on good terms with practically the entire Boston elite, as he softened the traditional confrontation between the Catholic Irish and the Brahmin upper-class. Cushing built useful relationships with Jews, Protestants, and institutions outside the usual Catholic community. He helped presidential candidate John F. Kennedy deflect fears of papal interference in American government if a Catholic became president. Cushing's high energy level allowed him to meet with many people all day, often giving lengthy speeches at night. Cushing was not efficient at business affairs, and when expenses built up he counted on his fund-raising skills instead of cost-cutting. Cushing, says Nasaw, was “fun-loving, informal, and outgoing. He looked rather like a tough, handsome, Irish cop and behaved more like a ward politician than a high church cleric.” His major weakness in retrospect was overexpansion, adding new institutions that could not be sustained in the long run and had to be cut back by his successors.