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Everett Dirksen

Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 - September 7, 1969) was a U.S. Congressman and Senator from Illinois.

He was born in Pekin, Illinois - about 120 miles southwest of Chicago - where he grew up on a small farm. He served in the United States Army during WWI. His political career began in 1927, when he was elected to the Pekin city council.

After an unsuccessful first run for the House of Representatives 1929, he was elected to that body in 1932. He served until 1946 when he left due of a series of medical problems.

After recovering, he was elected to the Senate in 1950. His canny political skill, rumpled appearance, and convincing, if sometimes flowery, overblown oratory, made his national reputation, and eventually brought him to the position of Minority Leader. He held that position until his death following cancer surgery on September 7, 1969 at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC.

He is most often remembered for the quote: "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money". Unfortunately, hard evidence that he actually ever made this remark has yet to be found.



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