Melvin R. Laird
A political career is launched
Melvin Laird was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II when, near the end of the war, Mr. Laird's father died. Mr. Laird returned home to fill his father's State Senate seat. At age 24, he was the youngest Senator ever to be elected in Wisconsin. He represented the 24th district until 1952, when he was elected to the United States Congress. While a State Senator, Mr. Laird was Chairman of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, the Joint Finance Committee, and the Legislative Council, as well as a member of the Wisconsin Educational Commission.
Mr. Laird sponsored bills for veterans housing, compulsory health insurance, better care for the mentally ill, and for more competition in the building industry.
Gaylord Nelson, the former governor of Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Senator, and U.S. Senator called Mr. Laird, "the most formidable Senator on the Republican side".
More about Melvin R. Laird
U.S. Secretary of Defense
Counselor to the President
Family and Friends