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Wilbur Mills

From Academic Kids

Wilbur Daigh Mills (May 24, 1909-May 2, 1992), was a powerful Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Arkansas.

Wilbur Daigh Mills was born on 24 May 1909 in Kensett, White County, Arkansas. Mills attended public schools and later graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He obtained his law degree from Harvard University and was admitted to the bar in 1933.

Mills served in the House of Representatives from 1939 to 1977 and served as the chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, a post he held longer than any other in American history. Mills was often termed "the most powerful man in Washington" during his tenure.

Mills served as County Judge of White County, Arkansas during the depression years and began a county-funded program to pay medical bill, prescription drugs, and hospital treatment for the poor.

After Brown vs Board of Education Mills signed "The Southern Manifesto" condemning the U.S. Supreme Court decision to desegregate the nation's public schools.

His accomplishments in Congress included playing a large role in the creation of the Medicare program. Mills initially opposed the program but eventually shepherded it through Congress. Mills was also acknowledged as the primary tax expert in the Congress and a voice for the Tax Reform Act of 1969. Mills favored a conservative fiscal policy and a balanced budget but also supported various liberal programs.

Mills ran for President of the United States in the 1972 Democratic primaries.

Mills is best known for being disgraced by scandal after a drunken incident in October 1974 with an Argentine stripper known as Fanne Foxe. Mills was stopped by Washington, D.C. police late at night and found to be intoxicated. His face was bloody from a scuffle with Fox. When police approached the car, Fox leapt from the car and jumped into the nearby Tidal Basin. Mills was forced to resign his seat on the Ways and Means Committee and did not seek reelection in 1976.

Wilbur Mills died on 2 May 1992 in Searcy, Arkansas. Mills is buried at Kensett Cemetery in Kensett, Arkansas.

Various schools, highways, and other structures are named after Mills in Arkansas.

External links

  • Time Magazine Cover (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/archive/covers/0,16641,1101630111,00.html)
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