Facts About Senators
Oldest, youngest, first female, and other famous firsts
by Ann-Marie Imbornoni
The first woman to serve as a senator was Rebecca Felton, D-Ga., who was appointed to the post in November 1922. The first woman to be elected to the Senate was Hattie Caraway, D-Ark., in January 1932.
The U.S. Senate is composed of 100 members (2 from every state) serving staggered six-year terms.
- 30 years of age (when seated, not when elected).
- a citizen of the United States for at least nine years.
- an inhabitant of the state from which he or she is elected.
(Note, members of the U.S. House of Representatives need be only 25 years old, and a citizen for seven years, to take office.)
The Senate leadership includes
- president of the Senate (the vice president of the United States).
- president pro tempore (usually the most senior member of the Senate majority party).
- majority leader.
- majority whip, or assistant majority leader.
- minority leader.
- minority whip, or assistant minority leader.
The first woman to serve as a senator was Rebecca Felton, D-Ga., who was appointed to the post in November 1922; the first woman to be elected to the Senate was Hattie Caraway, D-Ark., in January 1932.
Some other famous firsts in the Senate include Hiram R. Revels, R-Miss., who was the first African-American senator (1870-1871), Hiram L. Fong, R-Hawaii, who was the first Asian-American senator (1959-1977), and Octaviano Larrazolo, R-N.M., who was the first Hispanic senator (1928–1929).
The oldest senator was Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., who served in office at 100 years of age (49 years in office).
The youngest senator to serve was John H. Eaton, R-Tenn., who was appointed to fill a vacancy in 1818 at the age of 28 (contrary to the requirements of the Constitution). He was subsequently elected and reelected to the post, serving until 1829.
Senators receive a yearly salary of $165,200 (leaders receive a slightly higher salary.)