Claude Denson PEPPER, Congress, FL (1900-1989)
Senate Years of Service:1936-1951
PEPPER, Claude Denson, a Senator and a Representative from Florida; born on a farm near Dudleyville, Chambers County, Ala., September 8, 1900; attended the public schools of Camp Hill, Ala.; taught school in Dothan, Ala., and worked in a steel mill in Ensley, Ala., before attending college; served in Students Army Training Corps, University of Alabama, in 1918; graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1921 and from the law department of Harvard University in 1924; taught law in the University of Arkansas in 1924 and 1925; admitted to the bar in 1925 and commenced practice in Perry, Fla.; member of the State house of representatives in 1929 and 1930; moved to Tallahassee, Fla., in 1930 and continued the practice of law; served on the State board of public welfare in 1931 and 1932; member of the State board of law examiners in 1933; elected on November 3, 1936, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Duncan U. Fletcher; reelected in 1938 and 1944 and served from November 4, 1936, to January 3, 1951; chairman, Committee on Patents (Seventy-eighth and Seventy-ninth Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1950 and for nomination in 1958; engaged in the practice of law at Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and Tallahassee, Fla., and in Washington, D.C.; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-eighth and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses, and served from January 3, 1963, until his death; chairman, Select Committee on Crime (Ninety-first through Ninety-sixth Congresses), Select Committee on Aging (Ninety-fifth through Ninety-seventh Congress), Committee on Rules (Ninety-eighth through One Hundred First Congresses); awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 26, 1989; died in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 1989; lay in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, June 1-2, 1989; interment in Oakland Cemetery, Tallahasse, Fla.
BibliographyAmerican National Biography; Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives; Pepper, Claude Denson, with Hays Gorey. Pepper: Eyewitness to a Century. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987; Danese, Tracy E. Claude Pepper and Ed Ball: Politics, Purpose, and Power. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present