Milton Young

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Milton Young
Milton Young.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
December 5, 1980 – December 6, 1980
Preceded by Warren G. Magnuson
Succeeded by Warren G. Magnuson
Secretary of the Senate Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1946 – January 3, 1971
Leader Wallace H. White Jr.
Preceded by John Chandler Gurney
Succeeded by Norris Cotton
United States Senator
from North Dakota
In office
March 12, 1945 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by John Moses
Succeeded by Mark Andrews
Personal details
Born Milton Ruben Young
(1897-12-06)December 6, 1897
Berlin, North Dakota, U.S.
Died May 31, 1983(1983-05-31) (aged 85)
Sun City, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place Berlin Cemetery
Berlin, North Dakota
Political party Republican
Malinda Benson
(m. 1919; her death 1969)

Patricia Byrne
(m. 1969; his death 1983)
Education North Dakota State University
Graceland University

Milton Ruben Young (December 6, 1897 – May 31, 1983) was a United States politician, most notable for representing North Dakota in the United States Senate from 1945 until 1981. At the time of his retirement, he was the most senior Republican in the Senate.

Born at Berlin, North Dakota to John and Rachel Young, all four of his grandparents were from Germany.[1] Young graduated from LaMoure High School, then attended North Dakota State University in Fargo and Graceland College. In 1919, Young married Malinda Benson and they had three sons; she died shortly before their golden anniversary in 1969. (Young's second wife was Patricia Byrne, his secretary in the Senate, of Bowman, North Dakota.) After college, Young returned home to operate his father's farm.

Young became increasingly interested in politics during the depression and drought of the late 1920s and 1930s. He was active in community affairs, serving on the school, township, and county Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) boards. He stood for election to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1932; he won, and was then elected to the state Senate just two years later. Young was also one of the key persons in developing the Republican Organizing Committee in North Dakota during the 1940s. With the death of John Moses in 1945, Governor Fred G. Aandahl appointed Young to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat, and Young was forced to relinquish management of the family farm, in order to fulfill his duties in Washington.

For the 1952 Presidential election, Young initially indicated his support for Ohio Senator Robert Taft. In March, Young endorsed Democratic Senator Richard Russell, Jr. for the presidency, citing him as "superbly qualified" for the position and stated his willingness to support him in the event that he was nominated by his party. The endorsement caused a sensation and left Republicans from his home state calling for his withdrawal from the party.[2]

Young spent the remainder of his career in the Senate, becoming one of the longest-serving members of the Senate in its history. His major committee assignments were on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee, and the Appropriations committee of which he was the ranking Republican member. In 1974, during his last election for the U.S. Senate, Young's age was being used against him during the Republican primary; Young had himself filmed breaking a piece of board with his bare hands and easily won renomination.

As a result of the 1980 elections, Republicans won control of the Senate. As the longest-serving Republican Senator, Young would have been in line to become President pro tempore. However, he had chosen to retire instead of running for a seventh six-year term. In deference to his long service in the body, he was elected President pro tempore by the lame duck Democratic-controlled Senate on December 5 and served for one day.

Senator Young died at his retirement home in Sun City, Arizona on May 31, 1983 and was buried at Berlin, North Dakota. The Milton R. Young Power Plant in Oliver County was named in his honor. The tallest building in Minot is a public housing facility which bears his name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United States Census, 1900", FamilySearch, retrieved February 27, 2018
  2. ^ GOP Senator Endorses Russell (March 2, 1952)

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John Moses
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Dakota
Served alongside: William Langer, Clarence Norman Brunsdale, Quentin N. Burdick
Succeeded by
Mark Andrews
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gerald Nye
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from North Dakota
(Class 3)

1946, 1950, 1956, 1962, 1968, 1974
Succeeded by
Mark Andrews
Preceded by
John Chandler Gurney
Secretary of the Senate Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Norris Cotton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
George Aiken
Most Senior Republican in the United States Senate
Succeeded by
Strom Thurmond
Political offices
Preceded by
Warren G. Magnuson
President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate
Succeeded by
Warren G. Magnuson