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Oscar Underwood: A Featured Biography

Photo of Senator Oscar Underwood of Alabama

Oscar W. Underwood (1862-1929) holds the distinction of being the only person to serve as Democratic leader in both the House and Senate, and the first Senate Democrat to be officially designated as his party's floor leader. Underwood was elected to Congress in 1894. From 1911 to 1915 he served as House majority leader and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He joined the Senate in 1915, where he served as minority leader from 1920 to 1925. In 1924 he became a household name when the Democratic Party's national convention became the first to be broadcast over the radio, and each of its 104 ballots began with Alabama casting its votes for Oscar W. Underwood.