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J. William Fulbright. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100599).


Fulbright, J. William (09 April 1905–09 February 1995), educator, U.S. senator, and Vietnam-era dissenter, was born James William Fulbright in Sumner, Missouri, the son of Jay Fulbright, a banker, and Roberta Waugh. When he was three years of age, the family moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas. In the years that followed Jay Fulbright became one of the community’s leading bankers, while Roberta Fulbright attended to family affairs and built a network of friends centering on the University of Arkansas. Her parlor became a salon that included economists, historians, literary critics, local lawyers, physicians, and politicians. “Bill” Fulbright enjoyed a secure if somewhat sheltered childhood amid the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. He attended the University of Arkansas from the time he enrolled in the experimental kindergarten run by the College of Education until his graduation with a bachelor of arts degree in 1924. His father died suddenly in 1923, and his mother took over management of the family businesses....