Robert C. Byrd was one of the greatest politicians this nation, let alone West Virginia, has ever seen.
I am fascinated by his work, what he did and how he died.
He was born in North Carolina, Wilkesboro and was born on November 20, 1917.
He was born as Cornelius Calvin Sale Jr. His mother was happy as could be but about a year later she died in the flu epidemic that was taking over the nation at that time. Before dying she wished that Byrd should to go live with his relatives Vlurma and Titus who happened to be their cousins. So he was shipped to his relatives who renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd since they were adopting him.
Byrd was a model student and hard worker. He went to Sunday school and learned to play the fiddle which he kept with him at all times. He eventually went to to the Mark Twain high school where he graduated with honors and won valedictorian. He did not take part in World War 2, so he did odd jobs to raise money for himself to go to college. Unfortunately Byrd did not get money so he joined the Ku Klux Klan. He joined it thinking that it was a money- making organization and said that during his time period there they did not commit any murders that he knew about. Byrd later described this as “one of the biggest mistakes in my life.” He eventually left because he craved going back to politics so he quit the Klan and went back to politics.Ironically his membership to the KKK helped push him into politics. He was encouraged by the Grand Dragon, The leader of the KKK. “He ran for WV on the Democratic Ticket for the house of delegates. While away he carried his fiddle with him everywhere (this would later get him noticed). He won in 1944 and from that moment on would never lose another election ever again.“1946- E...
... middle of paper ...
...Unfortunately for Byrd and others his wife did not make it long enough to see that day because she died on March 25, 2006 from “a protracted illness.”
Byrd, on the topic of his wife’s death, said “"My only regret is that my beloved wife, companion and confidant, my dear Erma, is not here with me," he said. "I know that she is looking down from the heavens smiling at me and saying, 'Congratulations my dear Robert—but don't let it go to your head.‘”
Byrd died on “June 18,2010, at the age of 92.”
In his lifetime he: “was the highest- ranking Senator in the Majority Party, known as President as Pro Tempore, served as the senior member of the senate Appropriations Committee, was the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees, and had cast more than 18,689 roll call votes- more than any other senator. He even has a 97 percent attendance record out of 50 years!”