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Winston L. Prouty

In office
January 3, 1959 – September 10, 1971
Preceded by Ralph E. Flanders
Succeeded by Robert T. Stafford

Born September 1, 1906(1906-09-01)
Newport, Vermont
Died September 10, 1971
Political party Republican

Winston Lewis Prouty (September 1, 1906 - September 10, 1971) was a United States Representative and Senator from Vermont.

Winston Lewis Prouty was born in Newport, Vermont, September 1, 1906 to Willard Robert Prouty and Margaret (née Lockhart) Prouty. The Prouty family owned and operated Prouty & Miller, a lumber and building materials company, with forests east of the Mississippi and in Canada. His uncle, George H. Prouty, served as governor of Vermont from 1908 until 1910.[1]



Winston Prouty attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Yale College. Prouty had to leave Yale in his junior year for family reasons but returned to college graduating from Lafayette College in 1930.[2] While attending Lafayette College he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.


He became an officer and director of Prouty & Miller.

Prouty was the mayor of Newport from 1938 to 1941. He was a member of the Vermont house of representatives in 1941, 1945, 1947; he served as speaker in 1947.

At the time, the normal path of advancement for an upwardly mobile politician in Vermont was: Speaker of the House, State Senator, President Pro Tem of the Senate, Lt. Governor, Governor for two terms, US Representative, culminating with US Senator. A politician who attempted to usurp this process did so at his peril. Prouty did just that in 1948 by skipping the state senate entirely, and running for Lieutenant-Governor. He lost the nomination to conservative Republican Harold J. Arthur, the incumbent President Pro Tem of the Vermont Senate, back when the general election was a formality.[3] This turned out to be a serendipitous loss.

His liberal ally and mentor, Governor Ernest W. Gibson, Jr., appointed him Chair of Vermont State Water Conservation Board where he served from 1948 to 1950.

In 1950, Governor Gibson accepted an appointment as US District Judge. Under the state constitution, the vacancy was automatically filled by Arthur. That same year, Vermont Representative to Congress, Charles Plumley, decided not to run for re-election. Prouty's most formidable rival, Arthur, was effectively sidelined, running the state. Prouty decided to run for the vacant seat. He was successful.

He was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-second Congress; re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1951-January 3, 1959); was not a candidate for renomination in 1958; elected to the United States Senate in 1958; reelected in 1964 and 1970 and served from January 3, 1959, until his death; died in Boston, Mass., on September 10, 1971 from cancer; interment in Pine Grove Cemetery, Newport, Vermont.

He was eulogized by President Richard Nixon.

United States Senate
Preceded by
Ralph E. Flanders
United States Senator (Class 1) from Vermont
1959 – 1971
Served alongside: George Aiken
Succeeded by
Robert Stafford


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