Frist, Bill

Frist, Bill (William Harrison Frist), 1952–, American politician and physician, b. Nashville, Tenn., grad. Princeton (B.A., 1974), Harvard Medical School (M.D., 1978). From a distinguished medical family, Frist became a thoracic surgeon and a specialist in heart and lung transplantation. He founded the Transplant Center at Nashville's Vanderbilt Univ. Medical Center and subsequently directed the unit. Frist got his first taste of politics during his college years when he served (1972) as a congressional intern. In 1994 he was elected senator from Tennessee as a Republican, becoming the first practicing physician to attain the office since 1928. He was named a deputy senatorial whip in 1999 and, after his reelection in 2000, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Legislatively, the generally conservative Frist focused on health-care issues. After Trent Lott was forced to resign as Senate majority leader in 2002, Frist was chosen to succeed him. Frist did not run for reelection in 2006.

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