Harry F. Byrd

Born Jun 10, 1887

Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. of Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia, was an American newspaper publisher, farmer and politician. He was a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia. His ancestors included William Byrd II of Westover Plantation, who established Richmond, Robert "King" Carter of Corotoman, a colonial governor, and Pocahontas, and he was the brother of famed aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd. He was the father of Harry F. Byrd, Jr.… Read More

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1887 Birth Harry Flood Byrd was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1887 (just two weeks after fellow Virginia Senator Absalom Willis Robertson was the born in the same community) and moved with his parents, Eleanor Bolling (Flood) and Richard Evelyn Byrd, Sr., to Winchester, Virginia the same year. … Read More


1901 14 Years Old Harry Flood Byrd was the brother of famed aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd. He was a nephew of Henry De La Warr Flood, who served in the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress from Appomattox County, Virginia from 1901 to 1921 and Joel West Flood, also of Appomattox County. … Read More
1903 16 Years Old In 1903, he took over his father's newspaper, the Winchester Star. … Read More


1907 20 Years Old In 1907, he founded The Evening Journal in nearby Martinsburg, West Virginia. … Read More
1908 21 Years Old In 1908, at the age of 21, he became president of The Valley Turnpike Company, overseeing the Valley Turnpike, a 93-mile toll road between Winchester and Staunton. … Read More
1913 26 Years Old Byrd married Anne Douglas Beverley, a childhood friend, on October 7, 1913. … Read More
1915 28 Years Old In 1915, while still heading the Valley Turnpike Company, at the age of 28, Byrd was elected to the Virginia Senate. … Read More


1922 35 Years Old However, he first came to prominence in 1922, when he led a fight against using bonded indebtedness as a method to pay for new roads. … Read More
1923 36 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1923, Byrd was sued by the Virginia Highway Contractors Association because he said their activities "by combination and agreements may be very detrimental" to the State. … Read More
1925 38 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He was elected the 50th Governor of Virginia in 1925 and continued to lead a political faction that became known as the Byrd Organization as he represented Virginia as a United States Senator from 1933 until 1965. … Read More


1928 41 Years Old In the 1928 U.S. presidential campaign, he supported Al Smith, the Democratic Governor of New York, who would go on to lose to Republican Herbert Hoover.
1932 45 Years Old Byrd himself was an early favorite for the 1932 presidential nomination but he opted to endorse Franklin D. Roosevelt at the right moment and became an official in Roosevelt's successful campaign.
1933 46 Years Old In 1933 Byrd was appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate; he won reelection as a Democrat in 1933, 1934, 1940, 1946, 1952, 1958, and 1964.


1939 52 Years Old Byrd and his colleague Carter Glass invoked senatorial courtesy to stop Roosevelt's nomination of Floyd H. Roberts to a federal judgeship in Virginia in 1939. … Read More
1941 54 Years Old As war loomed in 1941 Congress approved his proposal for a joint House-Senate committee to look into ways of eliminating nonessential expenditures. … Read More


1948 61 Years Old He often broke with the Democratic Party line, going so far as to refuse to endorse the reelection of liberal President Harry S Truman in 1948.
1952 65 Years Old 1 More Event
He also refused to endorse Adlai Stevenson in 1952.
1956 69 Years Old 1 More Event
Although he never decided to become a candidate for the office, Byrd received a considerable number of votes in the 1956 presidential election and 15 electoral votes in the 1960 presidential election.
1960 73 Years Old In 1960, he received 15 electoral votes: eight unpledged electors from Mississippi (all of that state's electoral votes), six unpledged electors from Alabama (the other 5 electoral votes from that state went to John F. Kennedy), and a faithless elector from Oklahoma (the other 7 electoral votes from that state went to Richard Nixon). Byrd retired from the Senate for health reasons in November 1965. His son, Harry F. Byrd, Jr., was appointed his successor. Harry F. Byrd, Sr. died of brain cancer in 1966. … Read More
1964 77 Years Old He voted against public works bills, including the Interstate Highway System, and played a key role in the passing of the 1964 Revenue Act.
1966 79 Years Old Died on October 20, 1966.
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