Bentsen, Lloyd Millard, Jr.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Bentsen, Lloyd Millard, Jr.

Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr., 1921–2006, American political leader and U.S. secretary of the treasury (1993–94), b. Mission, Tex. He received a law degree from the Univ. of Texas in 1942 and served as a B-24 squadron commander during World War II. A Democrat, he served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1949–55) before starting a successful insurance business in Houston. Returning to politics in 1970, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating George H. W. Bush. Serving in the Senate (1971–93), Bentsen was a stalwart defender of Texas business interests such as the oil and gas industry and of international trade. From 1987 to 1993 he was chairman of the Senate finance committee. In the 1988 presidential election, the Democratic ticket of Michael Dukakis and Bentsen was defeated by George H. W. Bush and Dan Quayle. As secretary of the treasury under President Bill Clinton, Bentsen helped shepherd through Congress the 1993 deficit-reduction bill, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the accord establishing the World Trade Organization.

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