Harry Flood Byrd

Byrd, Harry Flood (bûrd) [key], 1887–1966, U.S. senator from Virginia (1933–65), b. Martinsburg, W.Va.; brother of Richard E. Byrd. Educated at Shenandoah Academy in Winchester, Va., he became publisher of the Winchester Star and an important figure in state Democratic politics. His administration as governor (1926–30) was marked by the development of the state highway system. Appointed senator in 1933, he was continually reelected until his retirement in 1965. He was a leading conservative Democrat and opposed the New Deal and later progressive measures. And advocate of government economy, he was for many years chairman of the finance committee. His son, Harry Flood Bird, Jr., 1914–2013, b. Winchester, Va., succeeded him in the Senate. Educated at the Univ. of Virginia, the son was publisher of the Winchester Star and Harrisonburg Daily News-Record and served in the state senate (1948–1965) until his appointment to his late father's Senate seat. A Democrat, he won the 1966 special election to completed his father's term. In 1970, however, he refused to pledge support to as yet unknown 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, and ran as an independent. He was a fiscal and social conservative, and often voted with Republicans and Southern Democrats during his Senate years (1965–82).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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