The Greatest Generation in Congress


New Jersey Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg’s decision to retire from the Senate in 2014 election means the upper chamber will soon say good-bye to its last veteran of World War II. However, the war lives on in the House, as Congressman Ralph Hall, a Republican from Texas, and Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, are still leading the charge.

In 1972, there were 22 World War I veteran’s still serving including Michael Mansfield , a Democrat from Montana, who at 14 dropped out of school and lied about his age to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He went on several overseas convoys on the USS Minneapolis, until discharged when the Navy discovered his real age. He was the last known congressional veteran of the war to die before reaching the age of 100, which was in 2001.

As for the last surviving World War I vet to have ever served in Congress, that is Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edouard Izac from 1937 to 1947. He passed away January 25th, 1990 at 100 years of age.

Incidently, the California Democrat received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the “war to end all wars.”

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