Monday, June 28, 2010

'Third' senator from North Carolina has died

A political footnote: Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.VA., has died after more than half a century in the U.S. Senate. He was the third U.S.. Senator from North Carolina serving in the Senate. Byrd was born as Cornelius Calvin Sale JR. in Wilkes County, N.C. in North Wilkesboro, but after his mother died in a devastating flu epidemic, he went to live with relatives in West Virginia and took their family name.

Here's part of Wikipedia's entry:

"Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr., in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in 1917. When he was one year old, his mother, Ada Mae Kirby, died in the 1918 Flu Pandemic. In accordance with his mother's wishes, his father, Cornelius Calvin Sale, dispersed the family children among relatives. Sale Jr. was given to the custody of Titus and Vlurma Byrd, his uncle and aunt, who renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd and raised him in the coal-mining region of southern West Virginia.

Byrd had a fascinating career, at one point joining the Ku Klux Klan and later repudiating that organization.
Here's the Washington Post story on Byrd and his place in Congressional history.

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