Tue Jul 30, 2013, 12:24 PM
Cooley Hurd (25,102 posts)
Sen Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (D-VA) Dead at 98
Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. (December 20, 1914 – July 30, 2013) was an American politician. He represented Virginia in the United States Senate from 1965 to 1983. He is most notable for leaving the Democratic Party in 1970 and becoming an Independent, although he continued to caucus with the Democrats. He was the son of Harry F. Byrd, Sr., whom he replaced as senator. On October 20, 2009, with the death of retired U.S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen, a Wyoming Republican, Byrd became the oldest living former senator.
WINCHESTER — Harry F. Byrd Jr., who made history with his Independent run to the U.S. Senate in 1970, died this morning at his home in Winchester. He was 98.
His name may have preceded him into the Senate, but it was his declaration of independence and two successful elections as an Independent candidate that made his own name in that chamber.
Harry Byrd Jr. was the first Independent to win election to the U.S. Senate with a majority of the vote despite facing a challenge from both major parties.
Byrd was already a newspaper publisher, World War II lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and 18-year Virginia state senator when he joined the U.S. Senate in November 1965. He came to the Capitol to fill the seat his retiring father and namesake had held the previous 32 years.
In 1970, the final statewide office holder of Virginia’s dominant political family of the 20th century made the country take notice.
Byrd broke from the Democratic Party when he refused to sign an oath to support the Democratic nominee for president in 1972, without knowing who would be selected. He ran as an independent.
Cross gently, Senator.
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Sen Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (D-VA) Dead at 98 (Original post)
|Cooley Hurd||Jul 2013||OP|
Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)
Tue Jul 30, 2013, 12:33 PM
WI_DEM (32,875 posts)
3. Typical southern democrat of his era
"Financial conditions in Virginia during his youth conditioned his thinking on fiscal matters throughout his life. He is best remembered for his austere pay-as-you-go financial policies, and his opposition to racial desegregation of the public schools, advocating a policy of massive resistance that led to closure of some public school systems in Virginia between 1959 and 1964."