Richard Russell on the cover of TIME Magazine Aug. 12, 1957

Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. (2 November 1897 - 21 January 1971) was an American politician who was a long-time U.S. Senator from Georgia, serving from 1933 until his death.

Russell was born in Winder, Georgia. He graduated from Gordon Institute in Barnesville, Georgia, in 1915 and received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Georgia in 1918. Russell served in the enlisted ranks of the United States Naval Reserve Forces in 1918 and, in 1919, set up law practice in Winder. He became county attorney for Barrow County, Georgia, served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, as its Speaker, and then as the Governor of Georgia from 1931 to 1933.

Following the death of U.S. Senator William J. Harris in 1932, Russell was elected to serve the remainder of Harris' term; he was subsequently elected to a full term in 1936 and was continuously reelected afterward.

TIME Magazine Aug. 12, 1957

During the 91st Congress, he was president pro tempore of the Senate, a member and former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a member of the Space and Aeronautics Sciences Committee and of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. He was also a member of the Warren Commission, the commission which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

A mentor and personal friend of Lyndon B. Johnson, the two came into conflict over civil rights, with Russell co-authoring The Southern Manifesto in opposition to civil rights while Johnson maneuvered to pass civil rights legislation—first as Majority Leader in 1957 and 1960, and later as President in 1964. While still in office, Senator Russell died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

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