Monday, January 3, 2011
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AS PLAYED BY:
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn (January 6, 1882 – November 16, 1961), often called "Mr. Sam," or "Mr. Democrat," was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history. He entered Congress in 1913 at the beginning of Woodrow Wilson's presidency and served in office for more than forty-eight years.
In shaping legislation, Rayburn preferred working quietly in the background to being in the public spotlight. As Speaker, he won a reputation for fairness and integrity. In his years in Congress, Rayburn always insisted on paying his own expenses, even going so far as to pay for his own travel expenses when inspecting the Panama Canal when his committee was considering legislation concerning it, rather than exercising his right to have the government pay for it. When he died, his personal savings totaled only $15,000, and most of his holdings were in his family ranch.
Asked why he never sought the presidency, Rayburn said that he was "born in the wrong place at the wrong time" to undertake a national campaign.
Rayburn died of pancreatic cancer in 1961 at the age of 79 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. By the time of his death, he had served as Speaker for twice as long as any of his predecessors.
The real-world chronology may be off for this to be Sam Rayburn. But this actor looks more like Rayburn than he would as the next Speaker, John McCormack....