Robert Byrd, Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, Dies at 92

June 28, 2010 05:04

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in American history, dies at the age of 92. Byrd, a Democrat and the one-time kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan,  served in the U.S. Senate since 1959. His death may stall the Democrat spending and regulation juggernaut.


Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, died Monday.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs said Mr. Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. His health had been failing for several years.

A master of Senate procedures and orator whose Stentorian tones aimed to evoke the roots of the republic (if not Rome), Mr. Byrd served longer, voted more frequently, and probably used the arcane Senate rules to more effect than any previous denizen of the nation’s senior legislative house.

Mr. Byrd inhabited numerous roles in a life that took him from a childhood in the coalfields of West Virginia to Senate Majority Leader. In his early years, he was a gas station attendant, a welder, and self-taught butcher, then a West Virginia state legislator.


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