US Senator. A member of the Democratic Party, he served the State of Indiana in the United States Senate (1963 to 1981). Raised in Maryland, where his father was an athletic director, his mother died when he was twelve years old. Birch was brought up on his grandparent's farm and following the end of World War II, he served with the United States Army. After his discharge, he enrolled at the Purdue University School of Agriculture, prior to receiving his degree from the Indiana University School of Law. He commenced practicing in his birthplace Terre Haute while also maintaining a farm. He entered the political arena when he was elected to Indiana's State House of Representatives (1954 to 1962) and had a stint as the House Speaker (1959). He succeeded Homer Earl Capehart in the United States Senate and during his tenure, Bayh was responsible for historic pieces of legislation. Early in his first term, he survived a plane crash in 1964 and during the horrific experience he rescued Senator Edward Kennedy who was also on board. Following the assassination of President Kennedy (1963), the nation was without a vice president until January 1965. This vacancy led to Bayh authoring the 25th Amendment (1967), which established procedures for appointing a vice president should a similar occurrence happen again. He followed this accomplishment with the 26th Amendment (1971), which set the national age to vote at age eighteen. One year later (1972), he composed Title IX of the 1972 Education Act which banned gender discrimination in schools receiving federal aid and provided equal resources for male and female athletes. Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Intelligence. He had an unsuccessful bid to secure the Democratic Nomination for President in 1976. In 1980, he was defeated for reelection by future Vice President Dan Quayle. After leaving office, he resumed practicing law. His son Evan Bayh went on to serve as a United States Senator from Indiana. He died of complications from pneumonia.
Bio by: C.S.
Marvella Belle Hern Bayh