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Biography Dick Lugar

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Dick Lugar Dick Lugar
Dick Lugar
Former United States Senator from Indiana and a member of the Republican Party.


Dick Lugar Biography

ENG: Richard Green "Dick" Lugar (born April 4, 1932) is a former United States Senator from Indiana and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the Senate in 1976, he was the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and was its chairman from 1985 to 1987 and 2003 to 2007. Much of Lugar's work in the Senate was toward the dismantling of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons around the world. Before his election to the United States Senate, Lugar served as mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana.

He is also the longest-serving Senator in Indiana's history, and was the most senior Republican member of the senate. In 2012, however, he lost the Republican primary for a seventh term and his service in the Senate ended in January 2013.


Early life, education, and early career

Lugar was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Bertha (née Green) and Marvin Lugar. He is of part German descent. Lugar attended the public schools of Indianapolis. During this time he attained the Boy Scouts' highest rank: Eagle Scout. Later, he became a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated first in his class at Shortridge High School in 1950 and from Denison University in 1954 where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He went on to attend Pembroke College, Oxford, England, as a Rhodes Scholar, and received a second Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in 1956. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960; one of his assignments was as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Lugar manages his family's 604-acre (244 ha) Marion County corn, soybean and tree farm. Before entering public life, he helped his brother Tom manage the family's food machinery manufacturing business in Indianapolis.


Indianapolis politics

Lugar served on the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners from 1964 to 1967. At the age of 35, he was elected mayor of Indianapolis in 1967, defeating incumbent Democrat John J. Barton, and began serving the first of two mayoral terms in 1968. A political cartoon of the time questioned how an Eagle Scout could survive in the world of politics. He is closely associated with the adoption of Unigov in 1970, which unified the governments of Indianapolis and Marion County. The Unigov plan helped trigger Indianapolis' economic growth and earned Lugar the post of president of the National League of Cities in 1971. In 1972 Lugar was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention. During this time he became known as "Richard Nixon's favorite mayor" due to his support for devolving federal powers to local communities. In 1971 he was elected president of the National League of Cities.


U.S. Senate - Elections - 1974

Lugar ran for the U.S. Senate in 1974 U.S. Senate election and narrowly lost to incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Birch Bayh 51%-46%.



Two years later, he ran against Indiana's other U.S. Senator, Democrat Vance Hartke, and Lugar defeated him by a massive landslide, 59%-40%, a 19-point margin.



Lugar won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat U.S. Congressman Floyd Fithian, 54%-46%.



Lugar won re-election to a third term, defeating Democrat Jack Wickes, 68%-32%.



Lugar won re-election to a fourth term, defeating Democrat former U.S. Congressman Jim Jontz, 67%-31%. He became the first Indiana Senator elected to win a fourth term.



Lugar won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Democrat David Johnson, 67%-32%.



Lugar won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Libertarian Steve Osborn, 87%-13%. The Democratic Party did not field a candidate. It was the highest percentage of the 2006 Senate elections despite a Democratic take-over of Washington.



Lugar ran for re-election to a seventh term, but was defeated in the Republican primary by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, 61%-39%, who went on to lose the general election to Democratic Rep Joe Donnelly. The only two counties that Lugar carried were Boone and Marion. Lugar is the first six-term US Senator to lose his seat in a primary election since Kenneth McKellar in 1952.



Future Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels served as his chief of staff from 1977 to 1982. During the 1980 Republican National Convention, Lugar was rumored as a potential Vice Presidential nominee for Presidential nominee Ronald Reagan.

During the August recess of 2005, Lugar and freshman Senator Barack Obama visited Russia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine to inspect nuclear facilities there. He was detained for three hours at an airport in the city of Perm, near the Ural Mountains, where they were scheduled to depart for a meeting with the President and the Speaker of the House of Ukraine. He was released after a brief dialogue between U.S. and Russian officials, and the Russians later apologized for this incident. In January 2007, President Bush signed into law the Lugar-Obama Proliferation and Threat Reduction Initiative which was furthering Lugar's work with Senator Nunn in deactivating weapons in the former Soviet Union. The Lugar-Obama program focuses on terrorists and their use of multiple types of weapons.

In April 2006, Time magazine selected Lugar as one of America's 10 Best Senators.

Although Lugar's party was in the minority in the Senate, he had good relationships with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Lugar was named an honorary co-chairman of their inauguration. On the day of the final 2008 presidential debate, Lugar gave a speech at the National Defense University praising Obama's foreign policy approach, and warning against the isolationist, reactive policies espoused by Senator McCain. At that debate, Obama also listed Lugar as among the individuals "who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House". There were rumors that either Obama or McCain would select Lugar to be Secretary of State, but that he preferred to keep his Senate seat.

On March 18, 2009, Lugar cast his 12,000th Senate vote, putting him in 13th place for most votes. During his 32 years as senator, he had a 98% attendance record.


1996 presidential campaign

Lugar ran for the Republican nomination for President in 1996, but his campaign failed to gain traction. His announcement-of-candidacy speech was made on April 19, 1995, in Indianapolis. He finished fifth in the Republican primaries, with 127,111 votes, or 0.83%. He quit the race on March 6, 1996, the day after eight primaries were held, all of which were won by Lugar's fellow senator, and eventual Republican nominee, Bob Dole. Lugar endorsed Dole in the election.


Personal life

Lugar married Charlene Smeltzer on September 8, 1956. The couple has four sons and thirteen grandchildren.

He is a member of the United Methodist Church.





January 15,2013

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