Sen. Robert Byrd, who died at 92 early Monday morning, served longer in the Senate and Congress than anyone else in American history—and he witnessed a good chunk of it.
The New Deal Democrat was also a Dixiecrat who, as a young man, joined the Klan. Byrd would go on to apologize a thousand times, in his words, and will be remembered by many as one of the few and finest voices resisting the Iraq war.
New York Times:
Mr. Byrd served 51 years in the Senate, longer than anyone else in American history, and with his six years in the House, he was the longest-serving member of Congress. He held a number of Senate offices, including majority and minority leader and president pro tem.
But the post that gave him the most satisfaction was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, with its power of the purse — a post he gave up only last year as his health declined. A New Deal Democrat, Mr. Byrd used the position in large part to battle persistent poverty in West Virginia, which he called “one of the rock bottomest of states.”