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This autobiography follows West Virginia senator Robert C. Byrd's experiences from his boyhood in the early 1920s to his election in 2000, which won him an unprecedented eighth term in the Senate. Within these pages, Senator Byrd offers commentary on national and international events that occurred throughout his long life in public service.
The longest-serving senator in history, Robert C. Byrd gained his higher education in the Senate. Rising from an impoverished childhood in the coalfields of West Virginia, Byrd entered public office in 1947 without a college degree. As a senator he earned a law degree by attending classes in the evenings. His careful reading of the Senate s rules, precedents, and history made him a formidable opponent in debate and fueled his rise through party leadership to become Democratic Conference secretary (1967 1971), whip (1971 1977), and leader (1977 1989). Senator Byrd died on June 28, 2010, having served for 51 years, 5 months, and 26 days.