West Virgina Senator Robert Byrd Has Passed Away at the Age of 92


Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longest longest serving member of Congress in history, has passed away at the age of 92 at 3 a.m. Monday at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, VA. Most remarkable, Robert Byrd never lost an election and served 51 years in the US Senate. It was just yesterday that we learned that Byrd’s condition had taken a turn for the worse and that he was in serious condition.


Robert Byrd: 1917 – 2010, Rest in Peace

Starting in 1958, Mr. Byrd was elected to the Senate an unprecedented nine times. He wrote a four-volume history of the body, was majority leader twice and chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee, controlling the nation’s purse strings, and yet the positions of influence he held did not convey the astonishing arc of his life.

A child of the West Virginia coal fields, Mr. Byrd rose from the grinding poverty that has plagued his state since before the Great Depression, overcame an early and ugly association with the Ku Klux Klan, worked his way through night school and by force of will, determination and iron discipline made himself a person of authority and influence in Washington.

This is hardly the time or place for a political commentary on Robert Byrd, that will be done in a later post. Today, we say goodbye to a US Senator that certainly did bring home the bacon to the Mountaineer state … Robert Byrd, dead at the age of 92. Rest in Peace.

From the WSJ:

First was the self-appointed champion of the Constitution, brandishing his breast-pocket copy of the government’s foundational document on the Senate floor while inveighing against usurpation of the Senate’s powers by the executive branch.

Second was the crafty legislative pro with one hand in the pork barrel, the Democratic majority leader and Appropriations committee chair who managed to slip into legislation so many programs benefiting his state that more than 30 federally funded buildings were named after him.

A senator starting in 1959, Mr. Byrd at first voted the conservative southern Democratic line. He strongly opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He likened antipoverty measures to rent supplements, and voted in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that set the stage for U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

Yet by the late 1970s, when he was first named Senate Majority Leader, the one-time kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan had moderated his position on social issues to the point where he favored the Equal Rights Amendment.


He was also known as the “King of Pork,” using top positions on the Senate Appropriations Committee to steer federal spending to his home state — one of the nation’s poorest.

Byrd relished the title.

“Pork, to the critic, is service to the people who enjoy some of the good things in life, and I’ve been happy to bring to West Virginia the projects to which they refer. I have no apology for it,” he said.

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • 92 Year Old Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) Seriously ill in DC Hospital
  • WV Senator Byrd Admitted to Hospital … Is This the Senate or an Infirmary?
  • WV Senator Robert Byrd Endorses Barack Obama … So Much For Following the Will of the WV People
  • Byrd Denies Hitler Comment
  • Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Greatest “Living” Americans are Ted Kennedy & Robert Byrd

  • Comments

    8 Responses to “West Virgina Senator Robert Byrd Has Passed Away at the Age of 92”

    1. 92 Year Old Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) Seriously ill in DC Hospital | Scared Monkeys on June 28th, 2010 6:33 am

      [...] II: Robert C. Byrd Has Passed Away Share [...]

    2. super dave on June 28th, 2010 7:10 am

      i have to wonder if all the liberals and blacks knew he was a member of the Klan in his younger
      days ? even after being elected, continued to write letters to the organization promoting them
      and stating that they were needed now more than ever.
      this is after he stated that he left the group
      after a couple of years.

    3. just1girl on June 29th, 2010 5:33 am

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RIP, Senator ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    4. I know, I know on June 29th, 2010 5:39 am

      Do you suppose he still has his hood stashed away some place?

      It will be hard to forget Robert if you live in or travel through W. Virginia. He has named everything in the state after himself. Senator Porker.

    5. Scott on June 29th, 2010 5:57 am

      I’m tired of people hailing this guy as some hero. He was a klan member..period. I love how the liberals say “he made a mistake.” Byrd was the greatest re-distributor of wealth in the history of the Senate; all in the attempt to rectify his “mistake” of being in the Klan.

      Anybody been to West Virginia? Seen how poverty stricken it is?

    6. southernsue on June 29th, 2010 7:05 am

      i met some young men from west virginia, around 25 or so, right before the presidential election and asked them who they were voting for. their answer was that they didn’t vote.very sad.

    7. Brenda on June 29th, 2010 10:24 am

      Hey there Super Dave…I live in extreme south-western Virginia and at the top of my land you can just barely see the mtns of Bluefield, WV.

      Around here, they called him Robert “KKK” Byrd. Funny, but not so funny, you know?

    8. Brenda on June 29th, 2010 10:27 am

      I will say this, WV has the best, damn roads I’ve ever seen in any state on the east coast and I’ve been in all of them (I know WV is coastal, but you get the picture). I’ll bet you only get 10 freaking cars a DAY down half of them. Yes, not sure how he did it, but he pulled millions and millions into WV and for what? There ARE no jobs. I know alot of folks who work around here and have driven over an hour from WV to work in a factory making 10 per hr. IS sad there’s little work but a very, beautiful state to say the least.

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