US Congressman. A conservative Democrat from Meridian, Mississippi, he represented east-central Mississippi from 1967 to 1997. Himself an army veteran, having served in both World War II and the Korean War, he was recognized as a champion of veteran causes during his Congressional career. He was chairman of the House of Representatives Veteran Affairs Committee for thirteen years and is credited with modernizing the GI Bill in 1984 which resulted in a sharp increase in the numbers of young men and women who joined the all-volunteer force. He was active in the efforts to locate and bring home POW/MIAs making several trips to Vietnam and Korea. In addition to being awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Legion of Merit for his service during WWII, he won, in 2005, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United State's highest civilian award. He died in his hometown of Meridian after a lengthy illness.
Bio by: Bigwoo