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Trent Lott

Lott, Trent (Chester Trent Lott), 1941–, American politician, b. Grenada, Miss. Lott attended college and law school at the Univ. of Mississippi, then briefly (1967) worked with a private law firm. He entered politics as an assistant to a Democratic Mississippi congressman (1968–72). Already a conservative, he became a Republican and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972, serving as House Republican whip from 1981 to 1989, when he began his first term in the Senate. He became Senate whip in 1995, and when the majority leader, Bob Dole, resigned to run for the presidency in mid-1996, Senate Republicans chose the gregarious, telegenic, and more strongly conservative Lott to succeed him. Lott was subsequently minority leader (2001–3), resigning after he was widely criticized for remarks at a birthday party for Senator Strom Thurmond in which he implied that the United States would have better off if the 1948 presidential election had been won by Thurmond (who ran on a segregationist platform). Lott was chairman of the Senate committee on rules and administration from 2003 to 2007, when he again became Senate Republican whip, but he resigned his seat at the end of 2007.

See his autobiography (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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