Everett Dirksen

United States Senator

Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 – September 7, 1969) was an American politician. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–1949) and U.S. Senate (1951–1969).

Everett Dirksen
Everett dirksen painting.jpg
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
January 3, 1951 – September 7, 1969
Preceded byScott W. Lucas
Succeeded byRalph Tyler Smith
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 1959 – September 7, 1969
DeputyThomas Kuchel
Hugh D. Scott, Jr. (whips)
Preceded byWilliam F. Knowland
Succeeded byHugh D. Scott, Jr.
Senate Minority Whip
In office
January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1959
LeaderWilliam F. Knowland
Preceded byLeverett Saltonstall
Succeeded byThomas Kuchel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois's 16th district
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1949
Preceded byWilliam E. Hull
Succeeded byLeo E. Allen
Personal details
Everett McKinley Dirksen

(1896-01-04)January 4, 1896
Pekin, Illinois
DiedSeptember 7, 1969(1969-09-07) (aged 73)
Walter Reed General Hospital
Washington, D.C.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Louella Carver Dirksen
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota Law School
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1918-1919
RankSecond Lieutenant
Battles/warsWorld War I

As Senate Minority Leader for ten years, he was very important in the politics during the 1960s. Some things he did was to help passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Open Housing Act of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation.

He was also one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War and was known as "The Wizard of Ooze" for his oratorical style. Dirksen was a freemason.[1]

Dirksen died on September 7, 1969 in Washington, D.C. from cardiopulmonary arrest caused by lung cancer-related bronchopneumonia, aged 73.


  1. "Famous Masons". MWGLNY. January, 2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Everett Dirksen at Wikimedia Commons