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John Sherman Cooper: A Featured Biography


Cooper, John

Following military service in World War II, John Sherman Cooper (R-KY) was first elected to the Senate in 1946 to fill a vacancy. He lost his reelection bid but returned to the Senate in 1952 and again in 1956 to fill two other vacancies. He was then reelected to two terms and served a total of 20 years. In 1953 Cooper took part in the annual tradition of reading George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address to the Senate. He was an early sponsor of the Civil Rights legislation and one of the first senators to support censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Cooper's deep interest in foreign policy led to his early opposition of U.S. intervention in Vietnam, prompting him to co-sponsor the Cooper-Church amendment which sought to end funding of U.S. forces in Cambodia. Following his Senate service, he served as delegate to the United Nations and as ambassador to India and Nepal. He was also the first U.S. ambassador to East Germany.