Supreme Court Other Politicians Presidents
|Richard Bryan||Conrad Burns||Robert Dole||Samuel J. Ervin Jr|
|Barry Goldwater||Charles Grassley||Mark Hatfield||Augustus Hawkins|
|Jesse Helms||Ernest Hollings||J. Bennet Johnston Jr.||Trent Lott|
|Sam Nunn||Charles B. Rangel||Alan Simpson|
Senator from South Carolina; born in Edgefield, S.C., December 5, 1902; attended the public schools; graduated, Clemson College 1923; taught in South Carolina high schools 1923-1929; Edgefield County superintendent of education 1929-1933; studied law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1930; city and county attorney 1930-1938; member, State senate 1933-1938; circuit judge 1938-1946; served in the United States Army 1942-1946, in Europe and in the Pacific; major general, United States Army Reserve; Governor of South Carolina 1947-1951; unsuccessful States Rights candidate for President of the United States in 1948; unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator in 1950; practiced law in Aiken, S.C., 1951-1955; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to complete the term of Charles E. Daniel, who resigned, and served from December 24, 1954, to January 3, 1955; had been previously elected as a write-in candidate in November 1954 for the term commencing January 3, 1955 and ending January 3, 1961, but due to a promise made to the voters in the 1954 election, he resigned as of April 4, 1956; again elected as a Democrat in November 1956 to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation and served from November 7, 1956 to January 3, 1961; reelected in 1960, 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, and again in 1996 for the term ending January 3, 2003; changed from the Democratic to the Republican Party September 16, 1964; President pro tempore of the Senate during the Ninety-seventh, Ninety-ninth, One Hundred Fourth and One Hundred Fifth Congresses; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Ninety-seventh through Ninety-ninth Congresses); Committee on Armed Services (One Hundred Fourth and One Hundred Fifth Congresses).
Senator from Wyoming; born in Cody, Park County, Wyo., February 17, 1933; attended public schools; B.A., University of Wyoming 1955; entered the United States Marine Corps as a private 1955, released as a captain 1959; executive vice president, Wyoming Farm Bureau 1966-1975; natural resource director 1971-1975; general manager, Wyoming Rural Electric Association 1975-1989; independent small businessman; state representative, Wyoming, 1984-1989; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred First Congress, by special election, April 26, 1989, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Richard B. Cheney; reelected to the One Hundred Second and One Hundred Third Congresses and served from April 26, 1989 to January 3, 1995; was not a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives in 1994, but was elected to the United States Senate in 1994 for the term commencing January 4, 1995.
Senator from Wyoming; born in Denver, Denver County, Colo., September 2, 1931; attended Cody, Wyo. public schools; graduated, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., 1954; graduated, University of Wyoming Law School 1958; admitted to the Wyoming bar in 1958 and commenced practice in Cody; served in the United States Army, Infantry, 1954-1956; assistant attorney general of Wyoming 1958-1959; city attorney, Cody, Wyo.; United States Commissioner 1959-1969; member, Wyoming house of representatives 1964-1977; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, November 7, 1978, for the six-year term commencing January 3, 1979; subsequently appointed by the Governor, January 1, 1979, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Clifford P. Hansen for the term ending January 3, 1979; reelected in 1984 and again in 1990 and served January 1, 1979 to January 3, 1997; not a candidate for reelection in 1996; Republican whip (1985-1995); chairman, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (One Hundred Fourth Congress).
Representative from New York; born in New York City, June 11, 1930; attended New York City public schools; B.S., New York University School of Commerce, Washington Square, N.Y., 1957; LL.B. (J.D.), St. John’s Law School, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1960; entered United States Army in 1948 and was discharged as a staff sergeant in 1952; admitted to the New York bar in 1960 and commenced practice in New York City; assistant United States Attorney, 1963; counsel to speaker of the New York State assembly, 1965; counsel to the President’s Commission to Revise the Draft Laws, 1966; secretary, New York State Penal Law and Code Revision Commission; member, State assembly, 1966-1970; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-second and fourteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1971-January 3, 2001); chairman, Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control (Ninety-eighth through One Hundred Third Congresses).
Senator from Georgia; born in Perry, Houston County, Ga., September 8, 1938; educated in the public schools of Perry, Ga.; attended Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga., 1956-1959; graduated, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., 1960; received a law degree from the same university 1962; served in the United States Coast Guard 1959-1960, Reserve 1960-1968; admitted to the Georgia bar in 1962 and commenced practice in Perry; farmer; member, Georgia house of representatives 1968-1972; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate, November 7, 1972, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Richard B. Russell for the term ending January 3, 1973, and at the same time elected for the six-year term ending January 3, 1979; reelected in 1978, 1984, and again in 1990 and served from November 8, 1972 to January 3, 1997; not a candidate for reelection in 1996; chairman, Committee on Armed Services (One-Hundredth through One Hundred Third Congresses); resumed the practice of law in Atlanta, 1997; part-time, unpaid professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 1997-; co-chair, Concord Coalition.
Representative and a Senator from Mississippi; born in Grenada, Grenada County, Miss., October 9, 1941; graduated from Pascagoula public schools; B.P.A., University of Mississippi, 1963; J.D., same university 1967; served as field representative for the University of Mississippi 1963-1965; admitted to the Mississippi bar in 1967 and commenced practice in Pascagoula; administrative assistant to United States Representative William M. Colmer 1968-1972; elected as a Republican to the Ninety-third and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1973-January 3, 1989); minority whip (Ninety-seventh through One Hundredth Congresses); elected to the United States Senate in 1988; reelected in 1994 for the term commencing January 3, 1995; Republican whip, 1995-1996; majority leader, 1996-.
Senator from Louisiana; born in Shreveport, Caddo Parrish, La., June 10, 1932; educated in the public schools of Shreveport, La.; attended Washington and Lee University and United States Military Academy; graduated, Louisiana State University Law School, Baton Rouge, La., 1956; admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1956 and commenced practice in Shreveport; served in the United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corps, Germany, 1956-1959; member, Louisiana house of representatives 1964-1968, serving as floor leader; member, State senate 1968-1972; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate, November 7, 1972, for the term commencing January 3, 1973; subsequently appointed by the Governor to complete the unexpired term caused by the death of Allen J. Ellender, for the term ending January 3, 1973, left vacant by the resignation of Elaine S. Edwards; reelected in 1978, 1984, and again in 1990 and served from November 14, 1972 to January 3, 1997; not a candidate for reelection in 1996; chairman, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (Ninety-fourth Congress), Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (One Hundredth through One Hundred Third Congresses); engaged in the consulting and development businesses.
A native of Charleston, S.C., Fritz Hollings graduated from the Citadel in 1942. He then served in World War II as a U.S. Army officer in North Africa and Europe. He was decorated with seven campaign stars, including the Bronze Star Medal. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law from which he graduated in 1947. The following year Hollings was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. After a term as a state representative, he was elected twice to be Speaker Pro Tempore. In 1955, he became South Carolina's lieutenant governor. Four years later, he was elected governor. In 1966, Hollings was elected to the United States Senate, and has been re-elected five times. He is the sixth-ranking senior member of the Senate and is the fifth-leading senior Democrat. In the 103rd Congress, Hollings chaired the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and Judiciary. He was a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the Senate Budget Committee.
JESSE HELMS, Republican, of Raleigh, NC; born in Monroe, NC, October 18, 1921; attended Wingate College and Wake Forest College; U.S. Navy, 1942-45; former city editor, Raleigh Times; administrative assistant to U.S. Senator Willis Smith, 1951-53, and to U.S. Senator Alton Lennon, 1953; executive director, North Carolina Bankers Association, 1953-60; executive vice president, WRAL-TV and Tobacco Radio Network, 1960-72; member: Raleigh City Council and chairman of Law and Finance Committee, 1957-61; deacon and Sunday School teacher, Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh; recipient of two Freedoms Foundation awards for radio-television editorials; recipient of annual citizenship awards from North Carolina American Legion, North Carolina Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Raleigh Exchange Club; recipient of Outstanding Service Award of the Council Against Communist Aggression; the Richard Henry Lee Award; and the Order of Lafayette Freedom Award; former trustee, Meredith College, John F. Kennedy College, the Delaware Law School, Campbell University and Wingate College; president, Raleigh Rotary Club, 1969-70; 33 Degree Mason, Grand Orator, Grand Lodge of Masons of North Carolina, 1964-65, 1982, 1991; member, board of directors, North Carolina Cerebral Palsy Hospital; member, board of directors of Camp Willow Run, a Youth Camp for Christ at Littleton, NC; married Dorothy Jane Coble of Raleigh, October 31, 1942; three children: Jane (Mrs. Charles R. Knox), Nancy (Mrs. John C. Stuart), and Charles; seven grandchildren; elected to the U.S. Senate, November 7, 1972; reelected in 1978, 1984, 1990 and 1996.
Assembly Member Hawkins, a Democrat from Los Angeles, served from 1934 to 1960, succeeding Frederick M. Roberts. He served on the important Rules Committee of the Assembly during part of his over twenty years in the Legislature. His agenda continually focused on education, labor and employment issues.
Mark Hatfield is a former United States Senator from Oregon who has been a student, teacher, and practitioner of the American political system for virtually his entire life. A veteran of the Pacific Theater in World War II, Mark Hatfield has dedicated his life to preventing and ending armed conflict and improving the human condition through a lifetime of public service. While teaching political science and serving as Dean of Students at his alma mater, Willamette University, Mark Hatfield began his political career in the Oregon Legislature in 1950. After two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives and two years in the Oregon Senate, he became the youngest Secretary of State in Oregon history in 1956 at age 34. He was elected Governor of Oregon in 1958 and came the state's first two-term governor in the Twentieth Century when he was re-elected in 1962. He has never lost an election. In 1966, then Governor Mark Hatfield was elected to the United States Senate as an outspoken critic of the war in Vietnam. In August of 1993, he became the longest serving U.S. Senator from Oregon, surpassing the previous record set by Senator Charles McNary. A deeply religious man, Hatfield has always sought peaceful resolutions to world conflicts and domestic disputes. As a Lieutenant, j.g. in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Hatfield saw battle at Iwo Jima and Okinawa and was among the first U.S. servicemen to enter Hiroshima following the atomic bombing. His experience during the war and his compassion for life have made him an ardent proponent for nuclear disarmament. Hatfield's tireless efforts to bring an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons culminated in 1992 with the passage of legislation he authored calling for an end to U.S. nuclear testing. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Hatfield has provided for the development of major public works projects throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. The results of his efforts can be seen in the reforestation of millions of acres of federal forest lands, in the Portland Metropolitan area's light rail system, the new Bonneville Lock on the Columbia River, the Marine Science Center in Newport, the Oregon Health Sciences University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University and numerous other projects around the state.
At the national level, Senator Hatfield constantly strives to remind his colleagues of what he calls "the desperate human needs in our midst." He has consistently opposed increases in defense spending and United States military involvement abroad while focusing on improving health, education, and social services programs. He is know as an independent legislator who votes his conscience, a trait that has earned him bipartisan respect from his colleagues. Much of his success in the Senate can be attributed to his unique ability to work across party lines to build coalitions which secure the enactment of legislation. Senator Hatfield serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He is also a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Rules Committee, the Joint Committee on the Library, and the Joint Committee on Printing. Senator Hatfield was born on July 12, 1922, in Dallas, Oregon. He is the son of Dovie Odom Hatfield, a school teacher, and Charles D. Hatfield, a railroad construction blacksmith. He and his wife, the former Antoinette Kuzmanich, were married in 1958. They have four children and three grandchildren. Senator Hatfield graduated from Salem High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Willamette University in 1943. Following World War II, Senator Hatfield earned a Master's Degree in political science from Stanford University in 1948 and later returned to Willamette University to serve as professor of political science and Dean of Students. He has a passion for rare books and presidential history and is well known as an aficionado of Herbert Hoover and Abraham Lincoln.
Keeping in touch with Iowans enables Sen. Chuck Grassley to bring
Iowa common sense to official Washington. From the
river towns along the mighty Mississippi to the farm communities
nestled among the Loess Hills in Western Iowa, Chuck Grassley stays
well-informed by holding open meetings in each of Iowa’s 99 counties
every year. A hallmark of Grassley’s commitment to make
representative government work, the senior senator from Iowa works
hard to give individual Iowans a voice in Washington. Plus, from his
assignments on Capitol Hill, Grassley is where he needs to be to
advocate for Iowans in Congress.
The only working family farmer in the U.S. Senate, Grassley brings
true grit to his congressional oversight responsibilities. Seeking a
more accountable government, Grassley works to keep Washington
honest. Whether it’s tracking constituent casework or going
head-to-head with the Pentagon, Grassley works to make the federal
government work better. He successfully led a six-year campaign to
make Congress live under the same laws as the rest of the country.
Sinking his teeth into the federal government’s bureaucratic
alphabet soup, Grassley has fostered reforms of the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Health
Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the federal agency that runs
Medicare, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Keeping a vigil against waste, fraud and abuse, Grassley also is a
nine-time recipient of the Taxpayer’s Friend Award. As the second
most senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, Grassley
champions fiscal discipline. Involved in negotiating the Balanced
Budget Act of 1997, Grassley helped shepherd through Congress the
first balanced federal budget since 1969.
Before he became one of the country's foremost conservative
spokesmen, there were many other Barry Goldwaters:
The mischievous young man, department store head, photographer, ham
radio operator, Phoenix councilman, Kachina collector, pilot,
explorer and presidential candidate.
He once discovered a natural bridge in the Grand Canyon and he
started a national fad in men's undershorts.
Goldwater was born in what then was the Arizona Territory on Jan. 1,
1909, in Phoenix, the son of Baron and Josephine Williams Goldwater,
who lived at 710 N. Center St., which is now Central Avenue.
Goldwater's grandparents, Michael and Sarah Goldwasser, were
Polish-Jewish immigrants who moved from Europe to San Francisco in
1852 in search of gold. They eventually settled in Arizona,
establishing a store in Prescott, the capital of the new territory.
Goldwater attended Phoenix Union High School, and although he became
president of the freshman class, he almost failed. He was a poor
student who appeared to be more interested in pranks, such as firing
a miniature cannon at the steeple of a Methodist church.
His father enrolled him in Staunton Military Academy in Virginia,
and he flourished under the regimentation, playing sports, earning
academic honors and graduating in 1928.
He enrolled the next year at the University of Arizona, driving a
1925 Chrysler roadster, playing football, becoming a class leader
and joining a fraternity.
"There is something essentially Western about his personality,"
observed the late Howard Pyle, a longtime friend of Goldwater's.
Goldwater's lifelong pal Harry Rosenzweig recalled an evening when
Goldwater had a good time at the Phoenix Country Club and "wrecked
the place" before the night was over. He mailed a check to cover the
damages the next day.
Goldwater's carefree college days ended after a year because of his
father's sudden death of a heart attack on March 6, 1929.
The 20-year-old Goldwater then joined the family business, then the
oldest retail mercantile company in the state. The boss' son had to
work his way up and, like his father, to start as a clerk. He also
worked as a salesman and spent a year in the firm's New York buying
In 1937, at age 28, Goldwater became president of the stores. He
held that position until 1953, except for 1941-45, when he was a
pilot with the Army Air Forces. He then became chairman of the board
and remained there until after the stores were sold.
While managing Goldwater's, he created a national marketing hit in
1938 when he dreamed up and designed "antsy pants" - men's shorts
that were white with designs of red ants on them.
"You'll rant and dance with ants in your pants," Goldwater's
Goldwater met Margaret Johnson in December 1930, when she and her
mother went into the store. Her family lived in Muncie, Ind., and
spent the winters in Phoenix.
The two began dating two years later and were engaged in December
1933. Goldwater said he proposed in a phone booth, while the two
were waiting to make a phone call.
"I told her I was running out of money and out of patience. For the
umpteenth time I asked her to marry me. She said yes."
They married in Muncie on Sept. 22, 1934.
Their first child, a daughter, Joanne, was born on Goldwater's
birthday, Jan. 1, 1936. Barry Jr. was born in 1938, Michael in 1940
and Peggy in 1944. "Peggy and I have had four children. We have
known joy and sorrow
together. We have encountered pain and illness. We have suffered
separation for long periods of time. Through it all she has been my
strength, my companion, a part of my private world where no other
human beings, not even our children, have been allowed to enter,"
his autobiography said.
Goldwater entered politics in 1949 as a founding member of the
Charter Government party, formed by leading Phoenix businessmen to
purge the city of corruption. In the 1949 municipal vote, he was
elected to the City Council and was the top vote-getter on the
ticket. He was re-elected in 1951.
In between times, he served as campaign manager to his longtime
friend Howard Pyle, who was elected governor of Arizona in 1950.
One secret he shared only with his wife until publication of his
book Goldwater in 1988 was that he never really wanted to be
president and that he knew he would lose the 1964 election.
"My effort became an effort to take the control of the Republican
Party away from the Eastern Seaboard and move it here to the Rocky
Mountains and the West. And we did," he wrote.
"I really wouldn't (have liked being president)," Goldwater added.
"Ike (Eisenhower) told me one day that he had signed 1,300
signatures. Now that takes all day. So when do you have time to sit
down and worry about the world?"
He dedicated the book Goldwater to Peggy's memory and in it recalled
the pain of her death in 1985 after complications resulting from the
amputation of her leg. She was 76.
"I phoned her four or five times every day for months after
returning to Washington," Goldwater wrote. "The phone would ring and
ring. Then her memory would fall away and my face would collapse
into my hands. The healing process has been slow and painful."
Ervin died at about 4:15 p.m. at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he had been undergoing artificial kidney dialysis. He had been hospitalized March 30 in his home town of Morganton, N.C., for treatment of emphysema and an infected gall bladder, and developed kidney failure after undergoing gall bladder surgery there. "The cause of death was attributed by his doctors to respiratory failure which developed during the day," a hospital spokesman said. "The kidney failure for which Mr. Ervin was admitted to the center was a significant contributing factor." Ervin served 20 years in the U.S. Senate, beginning in 1954 at the height of the McCarthy era and ending with his retirement in December 1974, four months after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon. As chairman of the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Campaign Practices - known more popularly as the "Ervin Committee" or the "Watergate Committee" - which was established to investigate Watergate, Ervin was a major figure in Nixon's downfall. With his arching eyebrows and flapping jowls that signaled his moral indignation at much of the testimony before his committee, his half-country, half-courtly demeanor and his predilection for making points by quoting the Bible and Shakespeare and telling folksy stories, Ervin quickly became a hero to many.
Ervin became so popular that "Senator Sam" T-shirts and buttons
appeared all over the country, but he was far from being a pop cult
figure. At a time when Americans were buffeted by the Vietnam War
and Watergate and increasingly distrustful of their leaders, Ervin
came across as a stern father figure who wasn't confused about what
was right and wrong, moral and evil, and who took for granted the
moral courage to stand up for what was right.
Ironically, it was because he was a strict constitutionalist whose
interpretation of a document he revered defied ideology or party
lines - the sort of person Nixon professed to admire - that Ervin
was the choice of then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield
(D-Mont.) to head the special committee. "Sam is the only man we could have selected on either side who
would have the respect of the Senate as a whole," Mansfield said.
Ervin came to an uncomplicated verdict on Watergate: Nixon and
his chief aides tried to pull some funny business in order to weaken
the Democratic presidential ticket and enhance Nixon's chances for
reelection in 1972, tried to lie about it and cover it up in
violation of the law, and got caught. His remarks at the opening of
his committee hearings underscored the profound seriousness with
which he viewed the Watergate case.
He used country humor to help bring down Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), who terrorized a large proportion of the political community, including the Senate, in the early 1950s. Shortly after he arrived at the Capitol in 1954, then-Vice President Nixon appointed Ervin to a committee to study whether McCarthy should be censured, an assignment few were eager to take. The fledgling senator helped strip away the awe in which many of his colleagues held McCarthy with a notable speech in which he said that McCarthy reminded him of the preacher who didn't like the top knots women were wearing and wanted to denounce them as being counter to the will of God, although he had trouble finding an appropriate biblical text to support his argument. Finally, the preacher delivered a sermon entitled "Top Knot Come Down," and someone asked him his source. The preacher cited Matthew 24:17, which reads: "Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house." Much of Ervin's colleagues' apprehension dissolved in laughter and Ervin followed up in a speech advocating that McCarthy be censured. Ervin came by his views and expressions directly. Born in Morganton on Sept. 27, 1896, a descendant of Scots-Irish Calvinists, he began memorizing the King James version of the Bible under the tutelage of his pious mother. His father, a fiery, flamboyant, self-taught lawyer, made Ervin the most formidable name in Burke County, N.C., and gave his son a reverence for the Constitution. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1917, Ervin joined the Army and was sent to France during World War I. After resigning his commission because of his dissatisfaction with his performance in combat, he won the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and two Purple Hearts for heroism as an enlisted man. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1922, then practiced law in Morganton; served three terms in the state Assembly, where he helped defeat a bill prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution, and served on the state Supreme Court from 1948 to 1954. As a strict constitutional constructionist, he was the delight of liberals for supporting civil liberties, opposing "no knock" search laws, data banks and lie-detector tests as invasions of privacy. In 1966, he helped defeat a constitutional amendment that would have allowed prayer in school and appeared headed for enactment. But Ervin opposed almost all civil rights legislation on the grounds that they took rights away from others, whites - to hire whom they wanted, to sell their homes to whom they wanted, to go to school where they wanted - and that preserving the Constitution was more important than redressing blacks' grievances. He turned around on the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, however, because of his belief that it didn't discriminate against whites.
American politician and United States senator (1969-1996). He was born in Russell, Kansas. Dole suffered severe wounds during World War II (1939-1945) and left the military with a disabled right arm. In 1960 he was elected as a Kansas representative to the Congress of the United States, where he opposed many of the liberal spending policies of the Democratic administrations of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Dole was elected United States senator in 1968. Dole sometimes deviated from his strict conservatism, especially in supporting aid to feed the hungry and civil rights legislation. He married Elizabeth Hanford in 1975.
In 1976 President Gerald Ford asked Dole to be his vice-presidential running mate. They were narrowly defeated. After several unsuccessful bids for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, Dole became leader of Republicans in the Senate in 1985. Dole resigned his Senate seat in 1996 to campaign for the presidency. He won the Republican nomination, but was defeated in the general election by incumbent President Bill Clinton.
Robert Byrd was born Corneilius Calvin Sale, Jr., in North
Carolina in 1917. He lost his mother before he was a year old and
was adopted by an aunt and her coal-miner husband, Dalton Byrd. As a
boy, Byrd worked at various jobs and walked a great distance to
catch a bus to school. He completed 12 grades of schooling in 10
years and graduated at the top of his class in 1934. Later, he
served as a state senator, in 1952 won a seat in the U.S. House of
Representatives, and later in the Senate, eventually finishing law
school by attending night classes.
Auctioneer, broadcaster, county commissioner, football referee, livestock fieldman and Marine, Senator Conrad Burns became the first Republican in the history of Montana to be elected to a second term in November 1994. He won the election with more than 62 percent of the vote.
Burns became Montana's 19th United States Senator on January 2, 1989. In 1988, Burns defeated incumbent Senator John Melcher by a 52 to 48 percent margin, becoming only the second Republican Senator ever elected from his state. He was the only Republican challenger to defeat an incumbent that year. As Montana's representative, Burns has worked for a healthy job base for Montanans; effective, fiscally responsible government; tax reform; realistic health care reform; the expansion of Montana's agricultural industry and preservation of natural resource-based jobs; and increased individual opportunity through telecommunications.
Senator Richard Bryan was re-elected to a second term in the United States Senate on November 8, 1994. Senator Bryan, a native of Southern Nevada and a former two-term Governor, has pursued a challenging and demanding agenda focusing on issues that affect our nation, while protecting Nevada's interests in Congress.
For more than a decade, Bryan has been the most ardent defender of Nevadans' health and safety by opposing the federal government's plans to locate a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Recent efforts by the nuclear power industry have focused on making Nevada a so-called “interim storage” site for nuclear waste at the Nevada Test Site. Senator Bryan is aggressively fighting this interim storage legislation which would actually create a de facto permanent storage and which waives almost all health, safety and environmental standards. Since coming to the Senate in 1989, Senator Bryan has gained a national reputation as an advocate for consumers. As the former Chairman of the Senate Consumer Subcommittee, Senator Bryan was responsible for enacting laws to combat errors in the credit reporting system giving new powers to consumers to correct errors found on their credit reports and putting the burden of proof on the credit bureaus. He has also led the fight against telemarketing fraud and to improve auto safety. The Senator has also worked to ban ATM fees, and to stop “telephone slamming.” Senator Bryan has been recognized for his efforts to balance the federal budget and cut unnecessary government programs. His record on budget cutting resulted in his being named to the Concord Coalition’s Deficit Hawk Honor Roll. Bryan also received the "Spirit of Enterprise Award" from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, given to Members of Congress who have an exceptional voting record on business issues. Bryan is an original sponsor of a Constitutional Amendment to require a balanced budget and has introduced and supported numerous budget cutting amendments on the Senate floor. He led the successful fight to cut the controversial program from NASA’s budget which sought to contact aliens in space. Bryan continues the fight to eliminate the Market Access Program, an agricultural program which provides American and foreign companies with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to advertise their products overseas.
Senator Bryan is a leading protector of the environment. He helped establish the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Senator Bryan is working to help the Las Vegas Valley better manage growth by changing the way federal lands are turned over for development. His bill, the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act would require BLM lands, identified for development, be auctioned to the highest bidder, thereby ensuring taxpayers of the highest price and giving local government a greater say in development decisions. Senator Bryan established and now serves as Chairman of the Board of the Corporation for Solar Technology and Renewable Resources, which is working to bring the solar power industry to Nevada. He is also a leading advocate of protecting Nevada’s jewel in the North -- Lake Tahoe. For nearly four years Senator Bryan fought to protect the environmentally pristine Galena property located near Mount Rose. As a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, Senator Bryan is in a unique position to protect Nevada’s gaming industry, which employs more than 200,000 Nevadans. In recent years, the gaming industry has been under attack in Congress, culminating in the creation of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, formed by some of gaming’s most ardent foes. Bryan is also working to reform the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and crack down on illegal Indian gaming operations in several states, including California. Senator Bryan’s position on the Senate Finance Committee has also given him a forum to help protect programs which are important to Nevada's large senior citizen population. He has worked to ensure that the Medicare system remain solvent for today’s Medicare recipients and future generations. When it was determined that the federal budget would run a surplus for the first time in 30 years, Senator Bryan joined with others in calling for the surplus to be used to protect Social Security.
Believing that long-term economic prosperity is closely tied to quality education, Senator Bryan has consistently worked to improve education in Nevada. As Governor, Richard Bryan created and chaired a commission on educational excellence. Today, as United States Senator he supports policies by the federal government that encourage educational opportunities for all children. Senator Bryan has a long and successful career of public service in Nevada. His service began in the law enforcement field, serving as Clark County Deputy District Attorney in 1964. Senator Bryan later went on to be Clark County's first public defender. His first elected position came with the Clark Country voters sending him to the State Assembly in 1968, where he served until 1972. That year, he was elected to the State Senate. Bryan's law enforcement background served him well as Nevada's Attorney General. First elected in 1978, Bryan served as Nevada's chief law enforcement officer until 1982. The veteran prosecutor and lawmaker was elected by the people of Nevada to be Governor in 1982 and was re-elected in 1986. Bryan ran and won his seat in the United States Senate in 1988 and was re-elected to his second term in 1994