Wayne Morse

U.S. Congressperson

1900 – 1974


Who was Wayne Morse?

Wayne Lyman Morse was a politician and attorney from Oregon, United States, known for his proclivity for opposing his parties' leadership, and specifically for his opposition to the Vietnam War on constitutional grounds.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota Law School, Morse moved to Oregon in 1930 and began teaching at the University of Oregon School of Law. During World War II he was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican; he became an Independent after Dwight D. Eisenhower's election to the presidency in 1952. While an independent, he set a record for performing the second longest one-person filibuster in the history of the Senate. Morse joined the Democratic Party in 1955, and was reelected twice while a member of that party.

Morse made a brief run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1960. A few years later, Morse was one of only two senators who opposed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the president to take military action in Vietnam without a declaration of war. He continued to speak out against the war in the ensuing years, and lost his 1968 bid for reelection to Bob Packwood, who criticized his strong opposition to the war. Morse made two more bids for reelection to the Senate before his death in 1974.

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Oct 20, 1900
Also known as
  • Wayne Lyman Morse
  • Baptists
  • United States of America
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Minnesota Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • University of Oregon
Lived in
  • Wisconsin
  • Eugene
Jul 22, 1974

on July 23, 2013


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