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Encyclopedia > William Proxmire
William Proxmire
Office: U.S. Senator, Wisconsin
Political party: Democratic
Term of office: January 1957–January 1989
Preceded by: Joseph McCarthy
Succeeded by: Herbert Kohl
Date of birth: November 11, 1915
Place of birth: Lake Forest, Illinois
Date of death: December 15, 2005
Place of death: Sykesville, Maryland
Spouse: Ellen Proxmire

Edward William Proxmire (November 11, 1915December 15, 2005) was a member of the Democratic Party who served in the United States Senate for the state of Wisconsin from 1957 to 1989. He graduated from The Hill School in 1933, Yale University in 1938, Harvard Business School in 1940, and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1948. During World War II he served as a member of the Military Intelligence Service. He married Elsie Rockefeller, a great-granddaughter of William Rockefeller, brother and partner of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. They had two children, Theodore, who lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and Elsie Proxmire Zwerner, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Elsie Proxmire received an uncontested divorce in 1955. Senator William Proxmire File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... State nickname: Badger State Official languages None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Governor Jim Doyle (D) Senators Herb Kohl (D) Russ Feingold (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 17 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... The Democratic Party, founded in 1792, is the longest-standing political party in the world. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Joseph Raymond McCarthy loyalties became the subject of aggressive inquiries, which became known as witch hunts to his opponents. ... Herbert H. Kohl (born February 7, 1935) is an American politician and the senior senator from the state of Wisconsin. ... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Lake Forest is a city located in Lake County, Illinois. ... State nickname: Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State Other U.S. States Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) Senators Richard Durbin (D) Barack Obama (D) Official language(s) English Area 149,998 km² (25th)  - Land 143,968 km²  - Water 6,030 km² (4. ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sykesville is a town located in Carroll County, Maryland. ... State nickname: Old Line State; Free State Official languages None Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Governor Robert L. Ehrlich (R) Senators Paul Sarbanes (D) Barbara Mikulski (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 42nd 32,160 km² 21 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 19th 5,296,486 165/km² Admission into Union... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Democratic Party, founded in 1792, is the longest-standing political party in the world. ... Seal of the Senate The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the Congress of the United States, the other being the House of Representatives. ... State nickname: Badger State Official languages None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Governor Jim Doyle (D) Senators Herb Kohl (D) Russ Feingold (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 23rd 169,790 km² 17 Population  - Total (2000)  - Density Ranked 18th 5,453,896 38. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Hill School (The Hill) is an historic American boarding school for boys and girls in grades nine through twelve. ... Yale University is a private university in New Haven, Connecticut. ... 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Harvard Business School Harvard Business School (HBS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University, and is one of the worlds leading management schools. ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (also known as GSAS) is the academic unit responsible for all post-baccalaureate degree programs offered through the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... William Rockefeller (May 31, 1841-June 24, 1922), American financier, was a cofounder of the prominent United States Rockefeller family. ... 1917 painting by John Singer Sargent. ... Panoramic view of downtown Bethesda Bethesda is an urbanized, but unincorporated, area in Montgomery County, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.. It takes its name from a church located there, the Bethesda Presbyterian Church (built 1820), which in turn was named from a passage in the New Testament. ... Downtown Scottsdale Statue Scottsdale (Oodham [Pima]: Vaá¹£ai S-veá¹£onÄ­) is a city located in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. Named by the New York Times as The Beverly Hills of the Desert and by Travel Channel as one of the most luxurious destinations in the nation, Scottsdale has...


In 1956, Proxmire married Ellen Hodges Sawall, who brought two children of her own to the marriage, Mary Ellen Poulos, now of Milwaukee, and Jan Licht, now of Naperville, Illinois. Together, the couple had two sons, William, who died in infancy, and Douglas, who lives in McLean, Virginia. Nine grandchildren survive Proxmire. Naperville is a city located in DuPage County, Illinois and Will County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 128,358; a special census in 2003 estimated the population at 135,858. ... Boundaries of the McLean CDP as of 2003. ...


Proxmire served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1951 to 1952 and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Wisconsin in 1952, 1954 and 1956. Senator Proxmire was elected to fill the remainder of the term vacated due to the death of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1957. Senator Proxmire served as the Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs from 1975 to 1981 and again from 1987 to 1989. The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature, and larger than the Wisconsin Senate. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Governors of Wisconsin: Categories: Lists of United States governors | Governors of Wisconsin ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Joseph Raymond McCarthy loyalties became the subject of aggressive inquiries, which became known as witch hunts to his opponents. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Sen. Proxmire was an early, outspoken critic of the Vietnam War. He frequently criticized Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon for their conduct of the war and foreign policy deceptions. He used his seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee to spotlight wasteful military spending and was instrumental in stopping frequent military pork barrel projects. His Golden Fleece Awards were a useful device to focus media attention on self-serving projects that wasted taxpayer dollars. He was also head of the campaign to cancel the American supersonic transport. The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War was a conflict between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN, or North Vietnam), allied with the National Liberation Front (NLF, or Viet Cong) against the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, or South Vietnam), and its allies — notably the United States military in support of... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908–January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the thirty-seventh President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ... Pork barrel, in a literal sense, is a barrel in which pork is kept, but figuratively is a supply of money; often the source of ones livelihood. ... The Golden Fleece Award is presented to those public officials in the United States who (or whom) waste public money. ... A supersonic transport (SST) is a civil aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. ...


As Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Proxmire was instrumental in devising the financial plan that saved New York City from bankruptcy in 1976-77.


In his last two Senate campaigns of 1976 and 1982, Proxmire refused to take any campaign contributions, and spent on each less than $200 out of his own pocket — to cover the expenses related to filing for re-election and return postage for unsolicited contributions. He was an early advocate of campaign finance reform.


Proxmire was famous for issuing his Golden Fleece Awards identifying wasteful government spending between 1975 and 1988. The first one was awarded in 1975 to the National Science Foundation for funding an $84,000 study on "why people fall in love." Proxmire's critics claimed that his awards went to basic science projects that led to important breakthroughs, such as the Aspen Movie Map. He was heavily criticized for this by journalist Stewart Brand, but Proxmire later apologized for several of those, including SETI. As with pork barrel spending on defense projects, he successfully stopped numerous science and academic projects of dubious value. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency responsible for supporting basic science research mainly by providing research funding. ... The Aspen Movie Map was a revolutionary hypermedia system developed at MIT by a team working with Andrew Lippman in 1978 with funding from ARPA. // Features The Aspen Movie Map allowed the user to take a virtual tour through the city of Aspen, Colorado. ... Stewart Brand speaking September 5, 2004 Stewart Brand (born December 14, 1938 in Rockford, Illinois) is an author, editor, and creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly. ... SETI (pronounced , to rhyme with Betty) stands for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. ...


One winner of the Golden Fleece Award, Ronald Hutchinson, was so outraged that he sued Proxmire for defamation in 1976. Proxmire claimed that his statements about Hutchinson's research were protected by the Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Clause does not immunize members of Congress from liability for defamatory statements made outside of formal congressional proceedings. Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 443 U.S. 111 (1979). In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Syng inkstand, with which the Constitution was signed The Constitution of the United States is the supreme... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States...


From 1967 until 1986, Proxmire gave daily speeches noting the necessity of ratifying The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. After giving this speech every day that the Senate was in session for 20 years, resulting in 3,211 speeches, the convention was ratified by the U.S. Senate by a vote on 83-11 on February 11, 1986. 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1948 and came into effect in January 1951. ... February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


He died from Alzheimer's disease in Sykesville, Maryland on December 15, 2005. Sykesville is a town located in Carroll County, Maryland. ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


External links

Preceded by:
Joseph R. McCarthy
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Wisconsin
1957–1989
Succeeded by:
Herbert H. Kohl

  Results from FactBites:
 
William Proxmire, Maverick Democratic Senator From Wisconsin, Is Dead at 90 - New York Times (797 words)
Proxmire is also remembered for his regimen of daily exercise (in his prime, he jogged nearly 10 miles a day), his spartan diet, his hair transplants and face lift, his refusal to accept campaign donations or reimbursements for travel expenses and his string of not missing roll-call votes, which lasted more than 20 years.
Proxmire was first elected to the Senate in 1957 to fill the unexpired term of the late Joseph R. McCarthy, the Republican who was censured for reckless attacks on those he accused of being communists or fellow travelers.
Proxmire's wrath, for spending $57,800 on a study of the physical measurements of 432 airline stewardesses, paying special attention to the "length of the buttocks" and how their knees were arranged when they were seated.
William Proxmire - Definition, explanation (317 words)
William Proxmire (born November 11, 1915) was a member of the Democratic Party who served in the United States Senate for the state of Wisconsin from 1957 to 1989.
Proxmire served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1951 to 1952 and was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Wisconsin in 1952, 1954 and 1956.
Senator Proxmire was elected to fill the remainder of the term vacated due to the death of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in 1957.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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