James W. Symington
|James W. Symington|
|Symington pictured c. 1969 during his first term in Congress|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 2nd district
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Thomas B. Curtis|
|Succeeded by||Robert A. Young|
|Born||James Wadsworth Symington
September 28, 1927
Rochester, New York
|Relations||Stuart Symington, James Wolcott Wadsworth, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr.|
|Alma mater||Columbia Law School
|Rank||private first class|
Youth, family, and education
James Wadsworth Symington, son of Stuart (U.S. senator, Missouri) and Evelyn (Wadsworth) Symington, was born on September 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York. He is the great-grandson of James Wolcott Wadsworth (US Congress, New York) and grandson of James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr. (US Congress, New York).
He attended St. Bernard's School in New York City, St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1945, he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in the Marine Corps as a private first class from 1945 to 1946.
Symington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1950 where he was a member of the Berzelius secret society (according to the 1950 Yale Banner), and his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1954.
Early legal career and public service
After graduating from law school, Symington served for two years as Assistant City Counselor (1954–1955) for St. Louis. He then went into private practice from 1955 to 1958. Beginning in the 1950s, he occasionally performed as country music and folk singer, appearing on KMOX-AM and KSD-AM. He also frequently sang at his father's 1952 campaign appearances across Missouri. In 1958, he appeared on ABC-TV's Jubilee USA, and also performed with Patti Douglas and Lee Mace's Ozark Opry.
Later in 1958, Symington entered the United States Foreign Service, posted to London as assistant to John Hay Whitney, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. He served in this role until 1960, when he returned to private practice in Washington, D.C..
He served in a series of roles in government from 1961 to 1968: deputy director, Food for Peace (1961–1962); administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1962–1963); director, President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency (1965–1966); consultant, President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1965–1966); and Chief of Protocol of the United States (1966–1968).
In 1968, Symington was elected as a Democrat to the 91st Congress to represent Missouri's 2nd Congressional District. He served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977. While in Congress, served on the House Commerce Committee; and the Committee on Science and Technology, chairing the subcommittees on Space Science and Applications; Science, Research & Technology; and International Cooperation.
In the 1976 election, chose not to seek his seat for a fifth term; rather, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by his father, who retired after serving four terms. He faced Missouri Governor Warren Hearnes and Congressman Jerry Litton in the Democratic primary. Litton won the primary but was killed when his plane crashed en route to the victory party. Hearnes was named the Democratic candidate and ultimately lost to Republican Party candidate John Danforth.
At the end of his Congressional term, Symington returned to the practice of law, becoming a partner in the law firm of Smathers, Symington & Herlong in Washington, D.C.
Symington served as Director of The Atlantic Council, 1986 - 2001. He then served as Director, Library of Congress Russian Leadership Program, 2001.
Symington is also a writer. A collection of his poems, songs, and prose — A Muse ’N Washington: Beltway Ballads and Beyond — was published in 1999.
- This article incorporates text from the U.S. government publication, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present.
- "SYMINGTON, James Wadsworth". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2006-07-26.
- "Symington, James W., Papers". Western Historical Manuscript Collection. University of Missouri - St. Louis. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- ""Symington, James Wadsworth" in Index to Politicians: Sword to Szyperski". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- "James W. Symington Will Speak at St. Louis Commencement". Inside Webster News. Webster University. April 10, 2001. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- Symington, James W. (1999). A Muse N' Washington: Beltway Ballads and Beyond : Fifth Years of Politics and Other Pleasures in Poetry, Prose and Song. Pentland Press. ISBN 1-57197-142-4.
- Symington, James W. (November 10, 2003). "Into Cuba: The embargo must go". National Review.[dead link]
- James W. Symington Papers (1964-1976) at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis
- "House bills sponsored by Rep. James W. Symington". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
|United States House of Representatives|
Thomas B. Curtis
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 2nd congressional district
Robert A. Young