American politicianDied when: 85 years 331 days (1030 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius
John Jackson Sparkman (December 20, 1899 – November 16, 1985) was an American jurist and politician from the state of Alabama.A Southern Democrat, Sparkman served in the United States House of Representatives from 1937 to 1946 and the United States Senate from 1946 until 1979.
He was the Democratic Party's nominee for vice president in the 1952 presidential election.Born in Morgan County, Alabama, Sparkman established a legal practice in Huntsville, Alabama, after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law.
He won election to the House in 1936 and served as house majority whip in 1946.He left the House in 1946 after winning a special election to succeed Senator John H.
Bankhead II.While in the Senate, he helped establish Marshall Space Flight Center and served as the chairman of several committees.
Sparkman served as Adlai Stevenson's running mate in the 1952 presidential election, but they were defeated by the Republican ticket of Dwight D.
Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.Known as a defender of segregation during the Civil Rights era, Sparkman voted regularly against civil rights legislation and condemned the "judicial usurpation" of the Supreme Court decision of Brown v.
Board of Education, Sparkman signed the 1956 Southern Manifesto, which pledged opposition to racial integration and promised to use "all lawful means" to fight the ruling that put court power behind the integration of public institutions.
He became the longest-serving senator from Alabama in 1977, a record that was surpassed by Richard Shelby in 2019.Sparkman chose not to seek re-election in 1978 and retired from public office the following year.