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Ralph Tyler Smith


In office
September 17, 1969 – November 3, 1970
Preceded by Everett Dirksen
Succeeded by Adlai Stevenson III

Born October 6, 1915
Granite City, Illinois
Died August 13, 1972
Alton, Illinois
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater Washington University
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Battles/wars World War II

Ralph Tyler Smith (October 6, 1915 – August 13, 1972) was born in Granite City, Illinois. Smith was a Republican politician from Illinois and served in the Illinois state house from 1955 through 1969, including two years as the Speaker of the House from 1967 to 1969. Upon the death of Everett Dirksen, Governor Richard B. Ogilvie appointed Smith to fill his vacancy in the United States Senate. He served from September 17, 1969 to November 3, 1970. He ran for retention in the 1970 special election, but was defeated by Adlai E. Stevenson III.

Smith attended Illinois College (ΦΑ) and graduated in 1937. He attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and was admitted to the bar in 1940. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve and was called to active duty in July 1942. Smith was commissioned as an ensign in October of that year and served until January 1946. He returned to Alton, Illinois and resumed his fledgling law practice. In 1954, he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly.

When Smith ran against Stevenson, the Utah College Republicans sent a then unknown nineteen-year old student, Karl Rove, to work on Smith's campaign.

Smith died in Alton and is buried at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
Everett Dirksen
United States Senator (Class 3) from Illinois
1969–1970
Served alongside: Charles H. Percy
Succeeded by
Adlai Stevenson III
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