Jim Olin

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Jim Olin
Jim Olin.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by M. Caldwell Butler
Succeeded by Bob Goodlatte
Personal details
Born James Randolph Olin
February 28, 1920
Chicago, Illinois
Died July 29, 2006(2006-07-29) (aged 86)
Charlottesville, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Phyllis Avery Olin
Children Richard Olin
Thomas Olin
Kathy Milliken
James Olin Jr.
Trina Santry
Alma mater Deep Springs College
Cornell University (B.E.E.)
Profession Businessman
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1946
Unit Signal Corps
Battles/wars World War II

James Randolph "Jim" Olin (February 28, 1920 – July 29, 2006) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Virginia. From 1983 to 1993, Olin, a Democrat, served in the United States House of Representatives for Virginia's 6th congressional district.

Early life and education[edit]

Olin was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Kenilworth, Illinois.[1] He attended Deep Springs College, before moving on to Cornell University, from which he earned an electrical engineering degree in 1943. Then, until 1946, Olin served in the Signal Corps of the United States Army.[2]


Olin, a Democrat, made his first bid for political office in 1953, when he became Rotterdam, New York supervisor and served on the Schenectady County board of supervisors. For 35 years until retiring in January 1982, Olin worked in General Electric (GE) as corporate vice president and general manager of industrial electronics.[2] Olin's job at GE took place in Schenectady, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Salem, Virginia.[3] In 1982, Olin was elected to represent the 6th district of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives. While in the House, Olin was considered to be a moderate member of the state's delegation. For example, in 1991, he opposed the Persian Gulf War.[3] In 1990, he was one of the only three Democrats in the House to vote against Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.[4] That same year, he clashed with President George H. W. Bush over his budget proposals. As a member of the United States House Committee on Agriculture, Olin advocated reducing milk price subsidies.[3]

Olin did not run for a sixth term in 1992. That same year he received an honorary LLD from Washington and Lee University. He died at age 86 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1982: elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 51% of the vote, defeating Independent Kevin Grey Miller
  • 1984: re-elected with 54% of the vote, defeating Republican Ray L. Garland
  • 1986: re-elected with 70% of the vote, defeating Republican Flo Neher Traywick
  • 1988: re-elected with 64% of the vote, defeating Republican Charles E. Judd
  • 1990: re-elected with 84% of the vote, defeating Independent Gerald E. Berg

Personal life[edit]

Olin married Phyllis Olin and had five children with her. The Olin family settled in Roanoke, Virginia in 1968 and relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2003. Jim and Phyllis Olin had eleven grandchildren: Jennifer Milliken Bartlett, Marc Dentico-Olin, Scott Milliken, Julia Milliken, John Olin, Chad Olin, Christine Milliken, Hannah Olin, Arthur Santry IV, Alexa Santry, and Richard Santry. They also had 2 great-grandsons: Aidan Bartlett & Nathan Bartlett as of 2012.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b "James R. Olin, 86; Former GE Executive, Roanoke Congressman". The Washington Post. August 4, 2006. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "OLIN, James R., (1920 - 2006)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Harrison, David (August 1, 2006). "Jim Olin, former congressman, GE official, dies". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1990/roll123.xml#N

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
M. Caldwell Butler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Bob Goodlatte