West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member of Congress, passed away this morning at 92. KYD honors his legacy as a man who rose from poverty to become a longstanding leader of the Democratic Party and the nation. In his lifetime, Senator Byrd was elected nine times to the Senate, wrote a four-volume Senatorial history and multiple memoirs, served as majority leader twice, and controlled the Appropriations Committee.
During his 51 years in office, six of them were also spent in the House. “Senator Byrd's story was uniquely American,” said President Obama. “. . . He scaled the summit of power, but his mind never strayed from the people of his beloved West Virginia. He had the courage to stand firm in his principles, but also the courage to change over time.”
For the people of West Virginia, Senator Byrd brought significant amounts of funding for public schools, playgrounds, libraries, roads and buildings. A summary of his rich and long life can be read here.