Strom Thurmond biography
Strom Thurmond was born on December 5, 1902, in Edgefield, South Carolina. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Thurmond was elected governor of South Carolina. Appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1954 as a Democrat, he was elected on his own in 1956, and later switched to the Republican Party due to his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He served in the Senate until age 100—becoming the oldest congressman in U.S. history. He died in 2003.
US senator, born on December 5, 1902 in Edgefield, South Carolina, USA. He studied at Clemson University, and was a teacher and superintendent of education before turning to the law, becoming a judge of the state's circuit court (1938–42).
After serving with the US army in World War 2, Thurmond became Democratic Governor of South Carolina (1947–51).
Although relatively progressive as a governor, he was opposed to the 1948 Democratic civil rights programme, and led the walkout of the Southern Democrats at the 1948 convention. Originally appointed a Democrat to the US Senate in 1954, he was elected on his own in 1956; switching to the Republican Party in 1964, he continued to be re-elected, and became a prominent force in the emergence of a conservative Republican Party in the South. He was appointed chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 105th Congress (1997).
Strom Thurmond did not contest a Senate seat in 2002, the year he celebrated his 100th birthday. He was the oldest person ever to have served in Congress and was a Senate member longer than anyone else in US history.
Strom Thurmond died on June 26, 2003. Shortly after his death it was revealed that at the age of 22 he had fathered a daughter out of wedlock. The mother was a 16-year-old African American maid who worked for his family.