Philip Hart: The Conscience of the Senate

Philip Hart: The Conscience of the Senate

Philip Hart: The Conscience of the Senate

Philip Hart: The Conscience of the Senate

Synopsis

"Never a fiery orator nor a seeker of headlines, nevertheless, eighteen years in the upper house of Congress earned Phil Hart the title of "The Conscience of the Senate" by colleagues in both parties. Author and sponsor of critical legislation, particularly in the areas of civil rights, antitrust enforcement, and consumer and environmental protection, Hart took great pride in the fact that he was a leader in the Senate fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was intelligent and committed, idealistic and courageous, honest and humble, taking stands on controversial issues. A role model for many, an inspiration to others, the extent of his influence was demonstrated in the fall of 1976 as he was retiring from the Senate and dying of cancer." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Accounts of Phil Hart's ancestors and the early life of his parents are sketchy. His paternal grandfather, a Catholic from County Dublin, fought with the British Army during the Crimean War (1854- 1855). Shortly after the war he and his wife, Bridget, moved to the United States where he eventually settled in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and worked as a landscape gardener and manager of a private estate. Their son Philip A. Hart, Sr. was born in 1872. After attending the Lower Merion public schools, Philip studied at Pierce Business College in Philadelphia and then in 1889 accepted a position as a clerk at the newly formed Bryn Mawr Trust Company.

In 1910 Philip Hart, thirty-eight, married Anna Clyde, thirty-four. Anna's parents, the Samuel Clydes, were Scotch Presbyterians who arrived in the United States in the late 1850s and settled near Philadelphia. Anna graduated from high school, an academic accomplishment for a woman in her day, and possessed a keen mind. a notable feature of her personality was her tolerance, a virtue that may have derived partially from the religious friction with her family when she announced her conversion to Catholicism shortly after her marriage. the wedding may have been delayed several years because of her family's strong objection to her marrying a Catholic.

The Harts had two children, Philip, born on 10 December 1912, and Clyde, who arrived five years later to the day. the family settled in Bryn Mawr at 1009 Old Lancaster Road in a three-story, five-bedroom home. Bryn Mawr was an attractive suburban community located in . . .

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