Leslie C. Arends

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Leslie C. Arends
Leslie Arends.jpg
United States House of Representatives Republican Whip
In office
May 13, 1943 – January 3, 1975
Leader Joseph W. Martin
Charles Halleck
Gerald Ford
John J. Rhodes
Preceded by Harry L. Englebright
Succeeded by Robert Michel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th district
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by Frank Gillespie
Succeeded by George M. O'Brien
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Preceded by Cliffard D. Carlson
Succeeded by Tim Lee Hall
Personal details
Born Leslie Cornelius Arends
(1895-09-27)September 27, 1895
Melvin, Illinois, United States
Died July 17, 1985(1985-07-17) (aged 89)
Naples, Florida, United States
Political party Republican

Leslie Cornelius Arends (September 27, 1895 – July 17, 1985) was a Republican politician from Illinois.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Melvin, Illinois, Arends was the youngest of 10 children born to George Teis Arends and Talea (née Weiss) Arends. His father was born in Peoria to parents who were both natives of Germany; his mother was born in Hanover, Germany.

Arends served in the United States Navy during World War I and earned a law degree while attending Oberlin College in Ohio and Illinois Wesleyan University.[1]

Arends was the longest-serving whip in U.S. House of Representatives history, ranking second in the party in the House. He alternately served as majority whip and minority whip for House Republicans from 1943 to 1974. Arends was noted for his generally conservative voting record, his successful re-election as whip amid Republican in-fighting after the 1964 election, and his unwavering loyalty to President Richard M. Nixon at all stages of the Watergate scandal.

Arends represented a heavily Republican, largely rural downstate Illinois district in the US Congress from 1935 to 1974. A conservative but pragmatic Republican, he opposed much of the New Deal and remained a staunch isolationist until the American entry into World War II. Becoming minority whip in 1943, Arends helped create the powerful Conservative Coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats that controlled the domestic agenda from 1937 to 1964. He supported Robert A. Taft over Dwight D. Eisenhower for the 1952 Republican presidential nomination, and was an early supporter of the party's nominees Richard M. Nixon and Barry Goldwater in the campaigns of the 1960s. He organized the GOP opposition to Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society. Arends, however, supported civil rights legislation. He defended Richard Nixon throughout the Watergate affair; his close personal friendship with Gerald R. Ford ensured a good relationship with Nixon's successor.

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lichtenstein, Nelson et al. Political Profiles. Volume 3, "The Kennedy Years." pg 14. New York: Facts On File, Inc, 1976.
  • Schapsmeier, Edward L. and Frederick H. Schapsmeier, "Serving under Seven Presidents: Les Arends and His Forty Years in Congress." Illinois Historical Journal 1992 85(2): 105-118. Issn: 0748-8149

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. Frank Gillespie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 17th congressional district

January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1973
Succeeded by
George M. O'Brien
Preceded by
Cliffard D. Carlson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – December 31, 1974
Succeeded by
Tim Lee Hall
Party political offices
Preceded by
Harry L. Englebright
California
House Minority Whip
May 13, 1943 – January 3, 1947
Succeeded by
John W. McCormack
Massachusetts
Preceded by
John Sparkman
Alabama
House Majority Whip
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1949
Succeeded by
Percy Priest
Tennessee
Preceded by
John W. McCormack
Massachusetts
House Minority Whip
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953
Succeeded by
John W. McCormack
Massachusetts
Preceded by
Percy Priest
Tennessee
House Majority Whip
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1955
Succeeded by
Carl Albert
Oklahoma
Preceded by
John W. McCormack
Massachusetts
House Minority Whip
January 3, 1955 – December 31, 1974
Succeeded by
Robert H. Michel
Illinois