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Scott Lucas: A Featured Biography

Photo of Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois

Illinois Senator Scott Lucas, although serving only two terms in the Senate, quickly ascended to the top of his party's leadership. Elected to the Senate in 1938, Lucas chaired the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate before being elected Democratic Whip in 1946. When Majority Leader Alben Barkley was elected Vice President in 1948, Lucas was unanimously chosen to be the new Leader. Over the next two years, Lucas struggled to unite members of his party who were at odds over the enactment of President Truman's Fair Deal and civil rights policies. He became one of the earliest critics of Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade, and found himself targeted by McCarthy during his 1950 reelection bid. Lucas' inability to adequately discredit McCarthy's accusations, coupled with his strong connections to an unpopular Truman administration, resulted in his defeat by Everett M. Dirksen.

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