ROBERTSON, Absalom Willis

1887–1971

Biography

ROBERTSON, Absalom Willis, a Representative and a Senator from Virginia; born in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, W.Va., May 27, 1887; moved to Lynchburg, Va., with his parents in 1891; attended the public schools of Lynchburg and Rocky Mount, Va.; graduated from the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va., in 1907, and from its law department in 1908; admitted to the bar in 1908 and commenced practice in Buena Vista, Rockbridge County, Va.; moved to Lexington, Rockbridge County, Va., in 1919 and continued the practice of law; member, State senate 1916-1922; during the First World War served in the United States Army as assistant camp adjutant at Camp Lee, Va., and in the Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C., with the rank of major 1917-1919; served as Commonwealth's attorney for Rockbridge County 1922-1928; chairman of the State commission of game and inland fisheries 1926-1932; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-third Congress; reelected to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1933, until November 5, 1946, when he resigned; was nominated to the Eightieth Congress in 1946 but withdrew, having received the nomination for United States Senator; elected on November 5, 1946, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term ending January 3, 1949, caused by the death of Carter Glass; reelected in 1948, 1954 and 1960 and served from November 6, 1946, until his resignation December 30, 1966; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1966; co-chairman, Joint Committee on Defense Production (Eighty-fifth, Eighty-seventh, and Eighty-ninth Congresses), chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency (Eighty-sixth through Eighty-ninth Congresses); served as consultant to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 1966-1968; retired and resided in Lexington, Va., until his death there November 1, 1971; interment in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA
Papers: 1921-1967 (bulk 1946-1966). Ca. 200,000 items. Chiefly papers relating to his senatorial career including correspondence, legislative files, political files, departmental files, subject files, speeches, news releases, voting record, printed material, sound recordings, and films. Topics include, national defense, agriculture, taxation, banking, reciprocal trade, government employees, the moral rearmament movement, anticommunism, Vietnam, segregation, civil rights, wildlife conservation, national parks, and animal welfare. Finding aid. Publication restrictions.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library

Austin, TX
Oral History: September 27, 1968. 39 pages.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Ca. 35 items in various collections including Edward L. Breeden papers, 1932-1972; Everett Randolph Combs papers, 1932-1957; John Hannah Daniel papers, 1921-1971; Edward Griffith Dodson papers, 1871-1969; and Virginia Council on Human Relations, Charlottesville-Albemarle Chapter records, 1955-1970. Concern Virginia politics during school desegration era and postdating his congressional service. Also campaign papers in Lloyd Campbell Bird papers, 1918-1972. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bibby, John F. "The Congressional Committee: The Politics of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Afffairs." In On Capitol Hill: Studies in the Legislative Process, by John F. Bibby and Roger H. Davidson, pp. 183-206. 1967. 2d ed. Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Publications, 1972.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Memorial Addresses and Other Tributes in the Congress of the United States on the Life and Contributions of A. Willis Robertson. 92d Cong., 2d sess., 1972. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1972.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Tributes to the Honorable A. Willis Robertson of Virginia: In the Congress of the United States, Upon the Occasion of His Birthday and Subsequent Retirement as a Senator. 89th Cong., 2d sess., 1966. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1966.

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