Earliest serving United States Senator

This page contains a list of the earliest serving United States Senators among those currently living (sitting or former) and a list of the individuals who, at the time of their deaths, had served at the earliest date in the United States Senate among those current or former senators then living. Of those living, the earliest-serving Senator is Birch Bayh. He was sworn in as a Senator on January 3, 1963.

Earliest serving senators (historic)

This is a list of the senators who were, while in office or after, the earliest-serving living before they died.

Begin DateEnd DateSenatorState1st Entered Senate
March 4, 1789November 14, 1832Tie between the 21 original members
of the 1st United States Senate while alive.
March 4, 1789
November 14, 1832March 7, 1838Paine WingateNew Hampshire
March 7, 1838February 23, 1840John RutherfurdNew JerseyMarch 4, 1791
February 23, 1840August 12, 1849Albert GallatinPennsylvaniaDecember 2, 1793
August 12, 1849December 22, 1850William PlumerNew HampshireJune 17, 1802
December 22, 1850June 29, 1852Henry ClayKentuckyNovember 19, 1806
June 29, 1852October 14, 1853Elisha MathewsonRhode IslandOctober 26, 1807
October 14, 1853November 5, 1857Alexander CampbellOhioDecember 11, 1809
November 5, 1857April 14, 1859George M. BibbKentuckyMarch 4, 1811
April 14, 1859July 26, 1863John J. CrittendenKentuckyMarch 4, 1817
July 26, 1863September 4, 1864Henry JohnsonLouisianaJanuary 12, 1818
September 4, 1864December 14, 1868Walter LowriePennsylvaniaMarch 4, 1819
December 14, 1868October 13, 1880Peleg SpragueMassachusettsMarch 4, 1829
October 13, 1880March 19, 1888John P. KingGeorgiaNovember 21, 1833
March 19, 1888May 11, 1889Henry A. FosterNew YorkNovember 30, 1844
May 11, 1889June 26, 1889Simon CameronPennsylvaniaMarch 13, 1845
June 26, 1889June 13, 1896Alpheus FelchMichiganMarch 4, 1847
January 6, 1901James BradburyMaine
January 6, 1901April 12, 1913John B. HendersonMissouriJanuary 17, 1862
April 12, 1913September 11, 1915William SpragueRhode IslandMarch 4, 1863
September 11, 1915February 27, 1919George F. EdmundsVermontApril 3, 1866
February 27, 1919November 3, 1924Cornelius ColeCaliforniaMarch 4, 1867
November 3, 1924April 12, 1933Adelbert AmesMississippiFebruary 23, 1870
April 12, 1933November 16, 1933Henry C. HansbroughNorth DakotaMarch 4, 1891
November 16, 1933November 18, 1934Lee MantleMontanaJanuary 16, 1895
November 18, 1934June 3, 1938Marion ButlerNorth CarolinaMarch 4, 1895
June 3, 1938October 21, 1938Henry HeitfeldIdahoMarch 4, 1897
October 21, 1938April 30, 1940Furnifold SimmonsNorth CarolinaMarch 4, 1901
April 30, 1940February 9, 1941Reed SmootUtahMarch 4, 1903
February 9, 1941March 13, 1945Charles W. F. DickOhioMarch 23, 1904
March 13, 1945January 5, 1960Norris BrownNebraskaMarch 4, 1907
January 5, 1960May 31, 1962Henry F. AshurstArizonaMarch 27, 1912
May 31, 1962December 28, 1972John HeiskellArkansasJanuary 6, 1913
December 28, 1972January 6, 1975Burton K. WheelerMontanaMarch 4, 1923
January 14, 1978Clarence DillWashington
January 14, 1978August 16, 1979F. Ryan DuffyWisconsinMarch 4, 1933
August 16, 1979March 13, 1985Elmer Austin BensonMinnesotaDecember 27, 1935
March 13, 1985May 30, 1989Claude PepperFloridaNovember 4, 1936
May 30, 1989September 22, 1990John A. DanaherConnecticutJanuary 3, 1939
September 22, 1990June 15, 1991Happy ChandlerKentuckyOctober 10, 1939
June 15, 1991December 18, 1993Joseph H. BallMinnesotaOctober 14, 1940
December 18, 1993January 21, 1999Berkeley L. BunkerNevadaNovember 27, 1940
January 21, 1999May 9, 2003Russell B. LongLouisianaDecember 31, 1948
May 9, 2003January 20, 2007George SmathersFloridaJanuary 3, 1951
January 20, 2007June 28, 2010Robert Byrd[1]West VirginiaJanuary 3, 1959
June 28, 2010October 21, 2012George McGovernSouth DakotaJanuary 3, 1963
December 17, 2012Daniel Inouye[1]Hawaii
presentBirch BayhIndiana

Earliest serving senators currently living

This is a list of the 30 earliest-serving senators,[2] current or former, currently living.

RankSenatorDate of birthEntered SenateLeft SenateState servedPartyTime since entry
1Birch BayhJanuary 22, 1928January 3, 1963January 3, 1981IndianaDemocratic55 years, 226 days
2Fred R. HarrisNovember 13, 1930November 4, 1964January 3, 1973OklahomaDemocratic53 years, 286 days
3Walter MondaleJanuary 5, 1928December 30, 1964December 30, 1976MinnesotaDemocratic53 years, 230 days
4Joseph TydingsMay 4, 1928January 3, 1965January 3, 1971MarylandDemocratic53 years, 226 days
5Ernest HollingsJanuary 1, 1922November 9, 1966January 3, 2005South CarolinaDemocratic51 years, 281 days
6Bob DoleJuly 22, 1923January 3, 1969June 1, 1996KansasRepublican49 years, 226 days
Mike GravelMay 13, 1930January 3, 1981AlaskaDemocratic
Bob PackwoodSeptember 11, 1932October 1, 1995OregonRepublican
9Adlai Stevenson IIIOctober 10, 1930November 17, 1970January 3, 1981IllinoisDemocratic47 years, 273 days
10Bill BrockNovember 23, 1930January 3, 1971January 3, 1977TennesseeRepublican47 years, 226 days
James L. BuckleyMarch 9, 1923January 3, 1977New YorkConservative
Lowell P. Weicker Jr.May 16, 1931January 3, 1989ConnecticutRepublican
13David H. GambrellDecember 20, 1929February 1, 1971November 8, 1972GeorgiaDemocratic47 years, 197 days
14Sam NunnSeptember 8, 1938November 8, 1972January 3, 1997GeorgiaDemocratic45 years, 282 days
15J. Bennett JohnstonJune 10, 1932November 13, 1972January 3, 1997LouisianaDemocratic45 years, 277 days
16James AbourezkFebruary 24, 1931January 3, 1973January 3, 1979South DakotaDemocratic45 years, 226 days
Joe BidenNovember 20, 1942January 15, 2009DelawareDemocratic
Dick ClarkSeptember 14, 1928January 3, 1979IowaDemocratic
Walter Dee HuddlestonApril 15, 1926January 3, 1985KentuckyDemocratic
20Jake GarnOctober 12, 1932December 21, 1974January 3, 1993UtahRepublican43 years, 239 days
21Richard StoneSeptember 22, 1928January 1, 1975December 31, 1980FloridaDemocratic43 years, 228 days
22John CulverAugust 8, 1932January 3, 1975January 3, 1981IowaDemocratic43 years, 226 days
Gary HartNovember 28, 1936January 3, 1987ColoradoDemocratic
Patrick LeahyMarch 31, 1940in officeVermontDemocratic
25John DanforthSeptember 5, 1936December 27, 1976January 3, 1995MissouriRepublican41 years, 233 days
26Donald W. Riegle Jr.February 4, 1938December 30, 1976January 3, 1995MichiganDemocratic41 years, 230 days
27Paul SarbanesFebruary 3, 1933January 3, 1977January 3, 2007MarylandDemocratic41 years, 226 days
Richard LugarApril 4, 1932January 3, 2013IndianaRepublican
Jim SasserSeptember 30, 1936January 3, 1995TennesseeDemocratic
Dennis DeConciniMay 8, 1937January 3, 1995ArizonaDemocratic
Orrin HatchMarch 22, 1934in officeUtahRepublican
Harrison SchmittJuly 3, 1935January 3, 1983New MexicoRepublican

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Attained most Senior Senator status while serving uninterrupted terms.
  2. Source: US Senate Historical Office's "Senators, 1789 to Present."
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