Former Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, a foreign affairs
specialist whose legislation led to the forming of the United
Nations and a renowned scholarship program bearing his name, died
Thursday. He was 89.
Mr. Fulbright suffered a stroke at his home in Washington. His
health had been poor since a stroke in 1993, and he was
hospitalized last month with pneumonia.
In 30 years in the U.S. Senate - 15 as chairman of the Foreign
Relations Committee - Mr. Fulbright became one of Washington's most
powerful figures on international matters.
A Democrat, he broke party ranks with President Lyndon B.
Johnson and emerged as one of the leading critics of the Vietnam
War in the 1960s.tfp
President Bill Clinton, a fellow Arkansan, praised his former
"I'm just profoundly grateful today for the conviction that he
imparted to me when I was a young man, that we could make peace in
the world if we seek better understanding, if we promote the
exchanges among people, if we advance the cause of global
education," Clinton said at the White House.
As a freshman senator, Sen. Fulbright proposed using funds from
the sale of surplus property overseas to pay for foreign exchange
programs for researchers and students. The legislation, which he
frequently said he was most proud of, was designed to "increase
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and
the people of other countries."
The Fulbright scholarship program has sent about 200,000
students on overseas study.
"These people are of greater significance to our future than is
another aircraft carrier that costs three times as much as this
exchange program has cost in 40 years," he wrote in 1985.
One of the young people with whom he worked directly was
Clinton, who worked as an intern at the Foreign Relations Committee
while Sen. Fulbright was chairman.
In 1993, as president, Clinton awarded Mr. Fulbright the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Mr. Fulbright came to the Senate in 1945 and, during his first
term, caused a furor by suggesting that President Harry S Truman
resign. He cast the lone vote opposing funding for Sen. Joseph
McCarthy's investigatory committee. McCarthy, R-Wis., then branded
Sen. Fulbright a communist sympathizer.
During the Vietnam War in the 1960s, he led questioning during
televised congressional hearings that caused his rupture with