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Albert J. Beveridge Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach, 1922. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-89794).

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Beveridge, Albert Jeremiah (06 October 1862–27 April 1927), U.S. senator and historian, was born in Highland County, Ohio, the son of Thomas Beveridge and Frances Parkinson, farmers. The family moved to Illinois when Beveridge was a child. Because of his father’s financial difficulties, Beveridge worked as a plowboy, railroad section hand, logger, and teamster. He attended Asbury College (now DePauw University), graduating in 1885. He made his mark there in oratory, and he had a reputation throughout his life as a spellbinding public speaker. He was admitted to the bar in 1887. He married Katherine Langsdale that same year; she died in 1900. He married Catherine Eddy in 1907; they had two children....

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Bruce, William Cabell (12 March 1860–09 May 1946), author, municipal politician, reformer, and U.S. senator, was born at “Staunton Hill,” his father’s plantation, in Charlotte County, Virginia, the son of Charles Bruce, a planter, Virginia state senator, and captain during the Civil War, and Sarah Alexander Seddon, both members of established, affluent families in Virginia. Although the Bruce family lost much of their wealth during the Civil War, William still grew up surrounded by maids, servants, tailors, and tutors. Bruce’s mother, a devout Christian, instilled in William strong religious beliefs that influenced his character throughout his formative years....

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Henry Cabot Lodge Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-89796).

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Lodge, Henry Cabot (12 May 1850–09 November 1924), senator and historian, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Ellerton Lodge, a wealthy merchant and shipowner, and Anna Cabot. He graduated from Harvard College in 1871 and on that day married Anna “Nannie” Davis, daughter of a naval officer; they had three children....

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Marshall, Humphrey (1760–26 June 1841), senator and historian of Kentucky, was born near Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of John Marshall and Mary Quisenberry, farmers. He received his education from family and private tutors at home and at the neighboring plantation of his uncle Thomas Marshall, the father of Chief Justice ...

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McGovern, George Stanley (19 July 1922–21 October 2012), historian, Senator, and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, was born in Avon, South Dakota, a prairie town with a population of fewer than six hundred. His father, Joseph McGovern, was a Methodist pastor of Scotch-Irish descent, and his mother, Frances McLean McGovern, was a Canadian of Scottish heritage from Alberta. When he was six years old McGovern’s family moved to the small city of Mitchell in southeastern South Dakota, where he attended high school and college, enrolling at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1940. McGovern took leave from his studies during World War II to serve in the Army Air Corps. He flew dozens of bombing missions over Central Europe and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1943 McGovern married Eleanor Stegeberg, an identical twin from the farm town of Woonsocket, South Dakota, whom he met in college; the couple had five children. McGovern graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in 1946 and earned his Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University in 1953. His dissertation was a landmark study of the Colorado Coal Strike of 1913–1914, the bloodiest labor dispute in American history....