A colorful and controversial statesman who served in the United States Senate for a half-century, Strom Thurmond did not retire from office until after he was 100 years old. Hailing from the small town of Edgefield, South Carolina, Thurmond rapidly ascended the political ladder--Superintendent of Education, State Senator, Circuit Court Judge, Governor, and U.S. Senator.
An avowed States' Righter, Thurmond ran as a segregationist Dixiecrat presidential candidate in 1948. Thurmond holds the record for the longest solo filibuster in American history, when he held the floor for over 24 hours to protest the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The defiant South Carolinian is one of only two persons to have ever been elected to national office by write-in vote.
While remaining a staunch conservative, Thurmond eventually abandoned his segregationist ways and managed to earn the gratitude and electoral support of African American voters. With unrivaled service to his constituents, Thurmond was elected to the Senate on nine occasions.
Throughout his storied career,Thurmond never revealed that he had fathered a mixed race child. The general public did not learn about this potentially career-ending secret until after Thurmond's death.
A decorated World War War II veteran who participated in the D-Day invasion of France, a courageous Thurmond was not unwilling to undertake personal and political risks. The South Carolina Senator's bold actions, eternal youthfulness, and political longevity were the envy of supporters and opponents, alike.
"Dixiecrat: The Life and Times of Strom Thurmond" is a concise, biography of a 20th century political icon.