Who was Harry Flood Byrd Sr.? (June 10, 1887 – October 20, 1966)


Harry Flood Byrd Sr. (June 10, 1887 – October 20, 1966), American legislator, born in Martinsburg, West Virginia. He left school at the age of 16 to work for the Winchester (Virginia) Evening Star, a newspaper that he subsequently bought.

Later he also engaged in farming, specializing in the cultivation of apples. A member of the Democratic party, he served in the Virginia Senate (1915-25) and was later governor of the state (1926-30). Appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy in 1933, he remained a senator until his retirement in 1965, serving for ten years in the influential post of chairman of the finance committee.

His son, Harry Flood Byrd, Jr., was appointed to succeed him in 1965 and was returned in 1970, the first independent candidate in 34 years to be elected U.S. senator. He was reelected in 1976 but declined to run again in 1982.

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