WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Former Senator Harry Byrd Jr. of Virginia Dies

By: AP
By: AP

(AP Photo / Henry Griffin, File)

(AP Photo / Henry Griffin, File)

July 30, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. of Virginia, a conservative Democrat turned independent who followed in his father's footsteps, has died.

Byrd's son, Tom Byrd, is president and publisher of The Winchester Star. Tom Byrd's office confirmed Tuesday that the former senator had died at age 98.

Harry Byrd Jr. was a former publisher of the paper and a former vice president of The Associated Press.

Byrd served 17 years in the U.S. Senate, from 1965 to early 1983. He began as a Democrat but switched to independent to win re-election in 1970 and 1976.

He was first appointed to replace his powerful father, Harry Sr., a senator from 1933 until failing health forced him to retire.

Like his father, Byrd opposed racial integration. He defended Virginia's strategy of "massive resistance" to school desegregation.

He told The Washington Post in 1982 that he had "personally hated" to see schools close, but even those many years later he didn't disavow massive resistance and suggested it helped the state avoid racial violence.

"It is one thing to sit here in 1982 and say what was done in 1954 was a mistake," he said. "It may or may not have been, because you have to look at it in the context of the times. When you have to make a very dramatic change, sometimes, most times, that needs to be done maybe over a period of time and not abruptly."

Byrd often indicated that switching from the Democratic Party to become the Senate's only independent was a philosophical move.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 217614041