Hoosiers Remember Birch Bayh

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(photo courtesy of our partners at WIBC) (photo courtesy of our partners at WIBC)

Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh has died. During his three terms in the Senate, Bayh authored the federal Title IX law and drafted the 25th and 26th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He was 91.

Bayh served in the Senate from 1963 to 1981. He was the last surviving person to have casted a vote in the Senate for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to our partners at WIBC in Indianapolis. 

After the news of his death, tributes from Indiana's political scene came pouring in:

Governor Eric Holcomb:

Birch Bayh was a trailblazer who dedicated himself to improving the lives of all Hoosiers. His remarkable legislative and personal legacy transformed the country and will live on for years to come. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join me and Janet in honoring his incredible service and by keeping the Bayh family in your thoughts and prayers.

Indiana Democratic Party: 

Birch Bayh was driven by a belief in what we could accomplish given equal opportunity. That simple truth belies towering accomplishments. A United States Senator who twice amended the Constitution, father of Title IX, contributor to critical civil rights legislation. His legacy endures every day on college campuses. It endures in the form of equal opportunity, the right to vote and that all Americans deserve justice. He was a champion of Democratic values and was, in every way, a Hoosier. If you had the privilege of spending time with him when he was out helping Democratic candidates, he was always happy to share a story about his time in office. His public service is an example to all of us, and we will miss him very much. Thank you, Senator Bayh. You fought to make a difference, and you did – immeasurably.

Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-1):

Birch Bayh never failed to exhibit a gracious and pragmatic approach to public service, listening to all individuals, and working hard every day for a better future for our state and nation.  He lived a life dedicated to serving others.  May his example continue to lead the way for all current and future public servants.  My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and family during this difficult time.

Senator Todd Young (R-IN): 

Birch Bayh is a modern-day founding father. He used his tenure in the Senate to push for substantive and substantial change, including two constitutional amendments and the passage of Title IX. While we remember his legacy, my thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bayh family.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett:

Birch Bayh was a tireless advocate for equality with the rare ability to transcend the prejudices of the moment and see beyond seemingly intractable divisions. He embodied what it means to be a Hoosier:  kindness, compassion, common sense, and integrity. We, as a state and as a nation, are forever shaped by his leadership and tenacity. Today our community joins the Bayh family in mourning the passing of one of our country’s true civic giants.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (on Twitter):

Birch Bayh was not afraid of the idea that upholding our Constitution includes amending it from time to time to strengthen our democracy. He was one of the greatest Hoosiers ever to serve, a champion for equality, and an example for us all.

Governor Holcomb has directed flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Bayh. You can read more about his career and legacy by clicking here.

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