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.
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.
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
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.