35th United States Vice President, US Senator, US Congressman. Born in a log cabin near Lowes in Graves County, Kentucky, he attended the public schools and graduated from Marvin College at Clinton, Kentucky in 1897. Barkley began to study law and attended Emory College in Georgia and the University of Virginia Law School which he graduated from in 1901. He was admitted to the bar the same year and practiced as an attorney in Paducah, Kentucky. He became the Prosecuting Attorney of McCracken County, Kentucky from 1905 to 1909 and was elected as Judge of the McCracken County Court from 1909 to 1913. He resigned to accept election to the United States House of Representatives to represent Kentucky's 1st District. A member of the Democratic Party, he was reelected six times and served from 1913 to 1927. Barkley did not seek reelection in 1926 and chose instead to become a candidate for the United States Senate to which he won election. He was reelected three times and served from 1927 to 1949. He was the Senate's Majority Leader from 1937 to 1947 and the Minority Leader from 1947 to 1949. A skilled orator and storyteller, he resigned on January 19, 1949 to accept election as the 35th Vice President of the United States on the Democratic ticket with President Harry S. Truman. He was 71 years old when he became the Vice President, the oldest person to hold that office to date, and served from 1949 to 1953. He also received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1949, the highest Congressional award bestowed to a civilian. As Vice President, he attracted media attention when he married his second wife, Jane Hadley Barkley. He was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention nine times from 1920 to 1952. When Truman withdrew from his reelection campaign in 1952, Barkley initially decided to run for president, but withdrew himself when he was not supported by his party because of his age. He briefly retired from public life until he was elected to the United States Senate again in 1955. He died in office in 1956 from a heart attack while speaking at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia during a mock Democratic Convention when he was 78 years old. Lake Barkley in Kentucky and Tennessee is named for him. The Barkley Regional Airport near Paducah is also named for him. His son-in-law, Douglas MacArthur II, was a United States Diplomat.
Bio by: K Guy