Russell, Richard B., 1897–1971, American political leader, b. Winder, Ga. The son of a justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, he began his political career as a state representative (1921–31) and then governor (1931–32). From 1932 to 1971, he was a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate. A supporter of the New Deal, he was chairman of the Armed Services Committee (1951–53, 1955–69) and widely regarded as one of the most powerful members of the Senate. In his last decades he was a leading opponent of civil-rights legislation, and broke with his former protégé, President Lyndon Johnson, over the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.