Robert Byrd

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Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd official portrait.jpg
Official Senate picture, 2007
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 2007 – June 28, 2010
LeaderHarry Reid
Preceded byTed Stevens
Succeeded byDaniel Inouye
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byStrom Thurmond
Succeeded byTed Stevens
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byStrom Thurmond
Succeeded byStrom Thurmond
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1995
LeaderGeorge Mitchell
Preceded byJohn Stennis
Succeeded byStrom Thurmond
President pro tempore Emeritus of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
LeaderBill Frist
Preceded byStrom Thurmond
Succeeded byTed Stevens
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1989
DeputyAlan Cranston
Preceded byBob Dole
Succeeded byGeorge Mitchell
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981
DeputyAlan Cranston
Preceded byMike Mansfield
Succeeded byHoward Baker
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
DeputyAlan Cranston
Preceded byHoward Baker
Succeeded byBob Dole
Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1977
LeaderMike Mansfield
Preceded byTed Kennedy
Succeeded byAlan Cranston
Chairman of the
Senate Committee on Appropriations
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byThad Cochran
Succeeded byDaniel Inouye
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded byTed Stevens
Succeeded byTed Stevens
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byJohn C. Stennis
Succeeded byMark Hatfield
United States Senator
from West Virginia
In office
January 3, 1959 – June 28, 2010
Preceded byChapman Revercomb
Succeeded byCarte Goodwin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byErland Hedrick
Succeeded byJohn Slack
Personal details
BornCornelius Calvin Sale, Jr.
(1917-11-20)November 20, 1917
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedJune 28, 2010(2010-06-28) (aged 92)
Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Erma James (1937–2006)
ChildrenMona
Marjorie
Alma materMarshall University
American University
ProfessionAttorney
ReligionBaptist[1]
Signature

Robert Carlyle Byrd (November 20, 1917 – June 28, 2010) was a Senator of the state of West Virginia from 1959 until his death in 2010. He is the longest serving Senator in United States History.[2] He was dean of the United States Senate from 2003 to 2010. He was President pro tempore four times. He was elected to the Senate in 1958. He served as majority leader from 1977 to 1981 and again from 1987 to 1989. He was also minority leader from 1981 to 1987.

Early life[change | change source]

Byrd was born on November 20, 1917 in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.[3] He was married to Erma James from 1937 until her death in 2006. They had two children.

Political career[change | change source]

Byrd was fourth person in the state (as President pro tempore of the Senate, usually longest serving Senator from majority party) from January 1989 to January 1995, from January 3, 2001 to January 20, 2001 and again from June 2001 to January 2003 and January 2007 until his death in 2010.

After Republicans retook control of the Senate, he became the honorary President "pro tempore emeritus" In 2007, Byrd became President Pro Tempore of the Senate again. Before he was elected to the Senate he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 until 1959 (he is dean of all Congress).

He was a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush's war in Iraq. In January 2006 he was one of the only four (alongside Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Ken Salazar of Colorado) democratic Senators, who voted for Samuel Alito.

Death[change | change source]

Byrd died on June 28, 2010 in Falls Church, Virginia, aged 92[4] from natural causes.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Famous Baptists". Adherents. May 21, 2007. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Byrd Truly the Elder Statesman
  3. "BYRD, Robert Carlyle, (1917–2010)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  4. Holley, Joe. "The Washington Post - Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92; West Virginia lawmaker was the longest serving member of Congress in history". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2012.