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William B. Saxbe


In office
January 4, 1974 – February 2, 1975
President Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded by Elliot L. Richardson
Robert Bork (acting)
Succeeded by Edward H. Levi

In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1974
Preceded by Frank J. Lausche
Succeeded by Howard Metzenbaum

In office
February 3, 1975 – November 20, 1976
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Daniel P. Moynihan
Succeeded by Robert F. Goheen

In office
1963 – 1969
Governor Jim Rhodes
Preceded by Mark McElroy
Succeeded by Paul W. Brown
In office
1957 – 1959
Governor C. William O'Neill
Preceded by C. William O'Neill
Succeeded by Mark McElroy

Born June 24, 1916 (1916-06-24) (age 93)
Mechanicsburg, Ohio
Political party Republican
Alma mater Ohio State University
Religion Episcopalian

William Bart Saxbe (born June 24, 1916) is an American former politician of the Republican Party, who served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio and as U.S. Attorney General under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.

Saxbe was born in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, and received a bachelor's degree from the Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), Class of 1940, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He served in the military during World War II, from 1940 to 1945 and during the Korean War, from 1951 to 1952. In 1948, Saxbe received a law degree from Ohio State University and afterwards practiced law in Columbus.

Saxbe served as an Ohio state representative from 1947 to 1954. He was then elected Ohio attorney general, defeating Democrat Stephen M. Young, and held that office from 1963 to 1968. He was a member of the Ohio Crime Commission from 1967 to 1968. In 1968, Saxbe was elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating Democrat John J. Gilligan. He served in the Senate until December 1973, when he was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Nixon. Saxbe was the permanent replacement for Elliot Richardson, who had been fired by Nixon during the "Saturday Night Massacre" at the height of the Watergate scandal. Saxbe took over for Robert Bork, who had served as interim Attorney General during the two months since the "Massacre".

There was some minor controversy regarding Saxbe's appointment and the Ineligibility Clause of the Constitution. That provision states that a legislator cannot be appointed to an executive position during the same term that the legislature had voted to increase the salary of said position. Nixon addressed the problem by having Congress reduce the salary of the Attorney General to the level it assumed before Saxbe's term in the Senate had begun, a maneuver that had occurred once before and has since become known as the "Saxbe fix". Because there was no perception that anything intentional had been done to benefit Saxbe, the matter was largely ignored.

Gilligan, who had been elected Governor of Ohio in 1970, appointed Howard Metzenbaum to fill out Saxbe's term. Later that year, former astronaut John Glenn, another Democrat, was elected to replace Saxbe.

Saxbe served as Attorney General for the first few months of the Ford Administration before stepping down in early 1975, when he was appointed United States Ambassador to India. He served in that capacity until 1977. After that, Saxbe returned to Mechanicsburg and resumed the practice of law.

Saxbe was known for his quips. Asked about Sen. Robert Dole, he commented that Dole was so unpopular with his fellow senators that "he couldn't sell beer on a troop ship."

Since the death of Clifford Hansen on October 20, 2009, Saxbe has been the second-oldest living and the oldest living Republican Senator.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
C. William O'Neill
Ohio Attorney General
1957–1959
Succeeded by
Mark McElroy
Preceded by
Mark McElroy
Ohio Attorney General
1963–1969
Succeeded by
Paul W. Brown
Preceded by
Elliot Richardson
(Robert Bork - acting)
United States Attorney General
Served under: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford

1974 – 1975
Succeeded by
Edward H. Levi
United States Senate
Preceded by
Frank J. Lausche
United States Senator (Class 3) from Ohio
1969–1974
Served alongside: Stephen M. Young, Robert Taft, Jr.
Succeeded by
Howard M. Metzenbaum
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
United States Ambassador to India
1975 – 1976
Succeeded by
Robert F. Goheen







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