News was made at a lunch for new President Barack Obama yesterday when Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts suffered a seizure and had to be taken to the hospital. Senator Kennedy has brain cancer. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia also left the lunch. First reports said that Senator Byrd also had a medical issue. His staff later said this was not the case.
(Above you see Mr. Byrd being sworn in by former Vice President Richard Cheney for his most recent term. Mr. Byrd will up for reelection next in 2012. The big guy is West Virginia’s other Senator. He is Democrat Jay Rockefeller.)
Mr. Kennedy is 76 years old. Mr. Byrd is 91. This got me wondering how many Senators are 75 or older.
15 Senators are at least 75 or will turn 75 in 2009. The average Senator is 63 as we begin the 111th Congress.
Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was the oldest Senator ever. He served in the Senate until he was 100 years old. He was rotten to the end
Here is some interesting U.S. Census data on the age of the American people. According to a three-year sample taken between 2005 and 2007, 6.1% of the American people are 75 or older. In the Senate, that number will be 15% who are 75 or older by the end of 2009.
Here is the list of 75 + Senators listed from the oldest on down —
Robert Byrd D-West Virgina 11/20/17
Frank Lautenberg D- New Jersey 1/23/24
Daniel Inouye D-Hawaii 9/7/24
Daniel Akaka D-Hawaii 9/11/24
Arlen Specter R-Pennsylvania 2/12/30
(Below—Senator Specter, standing, advocating for the single bullet theory in the death of President Kennedy. Mr. Specter worked as a lawyer for the Warren Commission.)
Jim Bunning R-Kentucky 10/23/31
Ted Kennedy D-Massachusetts 2/22/32
Richard Lugar R-Indiana 4/4/32
( Below–Richard Lugar with Ashley Judd.)
Diane Feinstein D-California 6/22/33
(Below–Senator Feinstein when she was Mayor of San Francisco.)
Chuck Grassley R-Iowa 9/17/33
Robert Bennett R-Utah 9/18/33
Jim Inhofe R-Oklahoma 1/23/34
(Below you see a famous moment from the Senate career of Mr. Inhofe. He is showing a picture of his family and saying that none of them are gay or have been divorced.)
Orrin Hatch R-Utah 3/22/34
Richard Shelby R-Alabama 5/6/34
Carl Levin D-Michigan 6/28/34