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Lee Metcalf


In office
January 3, 1961 – January 12, 1978
Preceded by James Edward Murray
Succeeded by Paul G. Hatfield

In office
June 1963 – January 12, 1978
President Carl Hayden
Richard Russell, Jr.
Allen J. Ellender
James Eastland
Preceded by None - title created
Succeeded by None - title abolished

Born January 28, 1911(1911-01-28)
Stevensville, Montana
Died January 12, 1978 (aged 66)
Helena, Montana
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Stanford University
Montana State University
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942-1946
Rank First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II

Lee Warren Metcalf (Stevensville, Montana, January 28, 1911 – January 12, 1978 in Helena, Montana) was an American politician of the Democratic Party and was a United States Representative, and a United States Senator (1961 until 1978) from Montana.

He graduated from Stanford University in 1936 where he had joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity and received a law degree from Montana State University Law School; admitted to the Montana bar in 1936 and commenced the practice of law; member, State house of representatives 1937; assistant attorney general of Montana 1937 – 1941. In December 1942 enlisted in the Army, attended officers’ training school, was commissioned, went overseas in 1944, and participated in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

After V-E Day he was concerned with the care and repatriation of displaced persons; helped in drafting ordinances for the first free local elections in Germany and supervised the free elections in Bavaria; discharged from the Army as a first lieutenant in April 1946; associate justice of the Montana Supreme Court 1946 - 1952; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-third Congress; reelected to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1953–January 3, 1961); was not a candidate for reelection but was elected in 1960 to the United States Senate; reelected in 1966 and 1972 and served from January 3, 1961, until his death; co-chairman, Joint Committee on Congressional Operations (Ninety-third and Ninety-fifth Congresses);

He died in Helena, Montana on January 12, 1978, aged 66 and was cremated; his ashes were scattered in one of his favorite areas in the wilderness of the State of Montana.

In 1983, by act of Congress, the Lee Metcalf Wilderness area was created in southwestern Montana in honor of the late Congressman. The Great Bear Wilderness and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness areas were also created as a result of Metcalf's efforts in Congress, in addition to the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge[1] in Montana.

Metcalf was ranked number 15 on a list of the 100 Most Influential Montanans of the Century[2] by the Missoulian newspaper.

Permanent Acting President pro tempore of the Senate

In June 1963, because of the illness of President pro tempore Carl Hayden (D-AZ), Senator Metcalf was designated Permanent Acting President pro tempore of the United States Senate to fill his duties at this time. No term was imposed on this designation, so Metcalf retained it until he died in office in 1978. He was the only person to hold this title.

Permanent Acting President pro tem should not be confused with the office of Deputy President pro tempore.

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
James Edward Murray
United States Senator (Class 2) from Montana
1961 – 1978
Served alongside: Mike Mansfield, John Melcher
Succeeded by
Paul G. Hatfield
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