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James Strom Thurmond
Strom Thurmond.jpg
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
November 7, 1956 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Thomas A. Wofford
Succeeded by Lindsey Graham
In office
December 24, 1954 – April 4, 1956
Preceded by Charles E. Daniel
Succeeded by Thomas A. Wofford
103rd Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 21, 1947 – January 16, 1951
Lieutenant George Bell Timmerman, Jr.
Preceded by Ransome Judson Williams
Succeeded by James F. Byrnes
99th, 102nd, & 104th President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Warren G. Magnuson
Succeeded by John C. Stennis
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Robert Byrd
Succeeded by Robert Byrd
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Robert Byrd
Succeeded by Robert Byrd
1st President pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by (N/A - post created)
Succeeded by Robert Byrd
Personal details
Born (1902-12-05)December 5, 1902
Edgefield, South Carolina
Died June 26, 2003(2003-06-26) (aged 100)
Edgefield, South Carolina
Political party States Rights Democratic (1948-1954)
Democratic (1954-1964)
Republican (1964-2003)
Spouse(s) Jean Crouch (1947-1960) (deceased)
Nancy Janice Moore (1968-2003) (separated 1991-2003)
Children 5
Profession lawyer, politician
Awards Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star with valor
Purple Heart
World War II Victory Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
Order of the Crown
Croix de Guerre
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
United States Army Reserves
Years of service 1942 - 1963
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Battles/wars World War II
*Normandy Campaign

James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902 - June 26, 2003) was an American politician. He was the oldest serving member of the United States Senate to date and the only senator to reach 100 while in office. He was also Governor of his home state South Carolina and a Presidential candidate. He was a lawyer.

Thurmond spent more than 70 years of his life in his public career. Before World War II he served as state senator and judge. During war he served in the US Army in Europe and briefly in Asia. In 1960 he was promoted to the rank of major general.

Criticism

A staunch opponent of Civil Rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s, Thurmond conducted the longest speaking filibuster ever by a lone senator, at 24 hours and 18 minutes in length, in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He was a segregation advocate. (He wanted separate housing, education and other services for people of color.)

Thurmond's racially charged language during the earlier part of his career left him with a mixed reputation among African Americans, receiving only 20% of their vote in his last election in 1996.

In 2003, political scientist Willie Leggett stated, "As black people make assessments of friends and enemies – of those who supported racial equality and those who didn't – Thurmond falls on the side of those who did not. Thurmond is not going to be a hero for black people because he never became a proponent of black rights."

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