Javits, Jacob Koppel, 1904–86, American political leader, b. New York City, LL.B., New York Univ., 1927. He and his brother, Benjamin A. Javits (1894–1973), developed a flourishing legal practice. Entering politics as a supporter of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, he was active in local politics before his election (1946) as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives. After serving four terms (1947–55), he was elected (1954) New York state attorney general. In 1956 he was elected to the Senate, where he served four terms (1957–81). One of the most prominent liberal Republican senators, he was a strong advocate of civil-rights legislation. In 1980, already very ill, he was defeated for reelection in the Republican primary and then ran unsuccessfully on the Liberal ticket. His writings include Discrimination U.S.A. (1960).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.