Thruston Ballard Morton

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Thruston Ballard Morton
Thruston B Morton.jpg
United States Senator
from Kentucky
In office
January 3, 1957 – December 16, 1968
Preceded by Earle C. Clements
Succeeded by Marlow W. Cook
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1953
Preceded by Emmet O'Neal
Succeeded by John M. Robsion, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1907-08-19)August 19, 1907
Louisville, Kentucky
Died August 14, 1982(1982-08-14) (aged 74)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater Yale University
Religion Episcopalian
Military service
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve
Battles/wars World War II

Thruston Ballard Morton (August 19, 1907 – August 14, 1982), a Republican, represented Kentucky in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.


He was born in Louisville and received a B.A. with the Yale Class of 1929.

Morton won his seat in the House by defeating incumbent Democrat Emmet O'Neal in 1946, 61,899 votes to 44,599. He served three terms in the House, January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1953.

After leaving the House, Morton served as Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations[1] in the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1956 Morton, by a very narrow margin, defeated incumbent Democratic United States Senator Earle C. Clements, 506,903 votes to 499,922. Morton won re-election to a second term in the Senate in 1962, defeating Democratic lieutenant governor and former mayor of Louisville Wilson W. Wyatt. Morton served in the Senate from January 3, 1957, until his resignation on December 16, 1968. He vacated the seat a few weeks early to allow his successor, Marlow William Cook, a fellow Republican of similar ideological leanings, to gain an edge in seniority.

Morton was the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1959 until 1961. In the Senate, Morton was considered a moderate Republican and voted, along with his Republican colleague John Sherman Cooper and 80% of the other GOP senators, for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He chaired the Republican National Convention of 1964.

Thruston Morton was the brother of Rogers Clark Ballard Morton, who represented Maryland in the United States House of Representatives from 1963 through 1971, when he became Secretary of the Interior in the administration of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford and Secretary of Commerce under Ford before heading Ford's re-election campaign in 1976.

Morton is interviewed in the 1968 documentary film In the Year of the Pig.

He died on August 14, 1982.


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Emmet O'Neal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
John Marshall Robsion, Jr.
Government offices
Preceded by
Jack K. McFall
Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs
January 30, 1953 – February 25, 1956
Succeeded by
Robert C. Hill
United States Senate
Preceded by
Earle C. Clements
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Kentucky
January 3, 1957 – December 16, 1968
Served alongside: John Sherman Cooper
Succeeded by
Marlow W. Cook
Party political offices
Preceded by
Meade Alcorn
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Succeeded by
William E. Miller
Preceded by
Barry Goldwater
Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
Succeeded by
George Murphy