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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesArkansas

Raymond Hoyt (Ray) THORNTON, Jr.

(1928- )

THORNTON, Raymond Hoyt (Ray), Jr., a Representative from Arkansas; born in Conway, Faulkner County, Ark., July 16, 1928; attended public schools at Leola and Sheridan, Grant County, Ark.; attended the University of Arkansas, 1945-1947; B.A., Yale University, 1950; attended law school at the University of Texas, 1950-1951; J.D., University of Arkansas, 1956; United States Navy, Korean conflict, 1951-1954, attained the rank of lieutenant; admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1956 and commenced practice in Sheridan and Little Rock; served as deputy prosecuting attorney, Pulaski and Perry Counties, 1956-1957; delegate from Grant and Jefferson Counties to the Seventh Constitutional Convention of Arkansas, 1969-1970; attorney general of Arkansas, 1971-1973; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-third and to the two succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1973-January 3, 1979); was not a candidate for reelection to the United States House of Representatives in 1978, but was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination to the United States Senate; director, Ouachita Baptist University-Henderson State University Joint Educational Consortium, 1979-1980; president, Arkansas State University, 1980-1984; president, University of Arkansas, 1984-1990; elected to the One Hundred Second and to the two succeeding Congresses; served until his resignation on January 1, 1997 (January 3, 1991-January 1, 1997); was not a candidate for reelection to the United States House of Representatives, but was a successful candidate for election to the Arkansas state supreme court; justice, Arkansas state supreme court, 1997-2005.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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