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Is Utah’s Orrin Hatch the oldest Senator? Not even close

First Published Jun 06 2014 01:16PM      Last Updated Jun 07 2014 10:16 am

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Sen. Orrin Hatch said he intends to ferret out information about the IRS targeting of tea party groups for extra scrutiny -- including who knew about the efforts, when, and what they did about it.

Orrin Hatch left open the door to seeking an eighth term in the U.S. Senate during a recent interview.

The most senior Republican in the Senate would be 84 years old if elected again in November 2018.

But he’s got a ways to go if he wants to break the record for the oldest serving U.S. Senator. Hatch isn’t even the oldest currently serving Senator. That distinction belongs to California’s Feinstein. She’s about nine months older than Hatch.

Hatch would need to be elected two times AFTER 2018 to have a shot at earning the distinction of being the oldest serving U.S. Senator. Who would he need to pass?



Here’s the list of the 10 oldest-serving U.S. Senators in history, according to the Senate Historian’s Office. We combed the bioguide.congress.gov website to provide a little info on each of the top 10.

No. 1 » Strom Thurmond

Age when left office » 100

Service dates » 1956 to 2003

State » South Carolina

The skinny » He first was elected as a Democrat before joining the Republican Party on Sept. 16, 1964; taught high school classes for six years before becoming a Senator; served as governor of South Carolina from 1947 to 1951; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993

No. 2 » Theodore Green

Age when left office » 93

Service dates » 1937 to 1961

State » Rhode Island

The skinny » Served as Rhode Island’s governor from 1933 to 1936; commissioned as a lieutenant during the Spanish-American War

No. 3 » Robert C. Byrd

Age when left office » 92

Service dates » 1959 to 2010

State » West Virginia

The skinny » He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1994; twice served as the Senate majority leader

No. 4 » Carl Hayden

Age when left office » 91

Service dates » 1927 to 1969

State » Arizona

The skinny » Served as sheriff of Maricopa County before Arizona was a state; served in the Army during World War I

No. 5 » Frank Lautenberg

Age when left office » 89

Service dates » 1982 to 2001; 2003 to 2013

State » New Jersey

The skinny » Served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II; took a couple years off after deciding not to run for re-election in 2000 but elected back to Senate in 2002

No. 6 » Daniel Akaka

Age when left office » 88

Service dates » 1990 to 2013

State » Hawaii

The skinny » Worked as a teacher, vice principal and principal in Hawaii before serving; originally appointed to the Senate in 1990

No. 7 » Carter Glass

Age when left office » 88

Service dates » 1920 to 1946

State » Virginia

The skinny » He worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and owner before serving; served as Secretary of the Treasury for Woodrow Wilson; turned down serving as Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury

No. 8 » Daniel Inouye

Age when left office » 88

Service dates » 1963 to 2012

State » Hawaii

The skinny » Elected to the U.S. House after Hawaii was admitted as a state; posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013

No. 9 » Rebecca Felton

Age when left office » 87

Service dates » 1922

State » Georgia

The skinny » Was the first woman to serve in the Senate; only served for 24 hours while the Senate was in session

No. 10 » Andrew Jackson Houston

Age when left office » 87

Service dates » 1941

State » Texas

The skinny » Organized a troop of Calvary for the Rough Riders of Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War, but he wasn’t a member of the group; only served two months after being appointed, dying in office in June after being appointed in April of 1941

The rest

Who else has served after turning 80 years old? Here’s the list, which picks up after Houston.

Senator » State » Years served » Age when left office

Justin S. Morrill » Vermont » 1867 to 1898 » 87

John Stennis » Mississippi » 1947 to 1989 » 87

Isaac Stephenson » Wisconsin » 1907 to 1915 » 85

Francis E. Warren » Wyoming » 1890 to 1893; 1895 to 1929 » 84

James E. Murray » Montana » 1934 to 1961 » 84

Quentin Burdick » North Dakota » 1960 to 1992 » 83

Arthur Capper » Kansas » 1919 to 1949 » 83

Shelby M. Cullom » Illinois » 1883 to 1913 » 83

Ernest F. Hollings » South Carolina » 1966 to 2005 » 83

Kenneth McKellar » Tennessee » 1917 to 1953 » 83

Matthew M. Neely » West Virginia » 1923 to 1929; 1931 to 1941; 1949 to 1958 » 83

John W. Stewart » Vermont » 1908 » 83

William P. Whyte » Maryland » 1868 to 1869; 1875 to 1881; 1906 to 1908 » 83

Milton R. Young » North Dakota » 1945 to 1981 » 83

Ernest F. Hollings » South Carolina » 1966 to 2005 » 83

George Aiken » Vermont » 1941 to 1975 » 82

John T. Morgan » Alabama » 1877 to 1907 » 82

Edmund W. Pettus » Alabama » 1897 to 1907 » 82

Theodore Stevens » Alaska » 1968 to 2009 » 85

Jennings Randolph » West Virginia » 1958 to 1985 » 82

Allen Ellender » Louisiana » 1937 to 1972 » 81

Dianne Feinstein » California » 1992 to present » 81

Chuck Grassley » Iowa » 1981 to present » 81

Orrin Hatch » Utah » 1977 to present » 81

Richard Shelby » Alabama » 1987 to present » 81

William P. Frye » Maine » 1881 to 1911 » 80

Jacob H. Gallinger » New Hampshire » 1891 to 1918 » 80

John L. McClellan » Arkansas » 1943 to 1977 » 80

Arlen Specter » Pennsylvania » 1981 to 2011 » 80

Williams H. Thompson » Nebraska » 1933 to 1934 » 80

Photo credits » The Associated Press, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, bioguide.congress.gov

 

 

 

 

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