Milton Young

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Milton Ruben Young
Milton Young.jpg
United States Senator
from North Dakota
In office
March 12, 1945 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by John Moses
Succeeded by Mark Andrews
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
December 5, 1980 – December 5, 1980
Preceded by Warren G. Magnuson
Succeeded by Warren G. Magnuson
Personal details
Born (1897-12-06)December 6, 1897
Berlin, North Dakota
Died May 31, 1983(1983-05-31) (aged 85)
Sun City, Arizona
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Malinda Benson (deceased)
(2) Patricia Byrne
Religion Community of Christ

Milton Ruben Young (December 6, 1897 – May 31, 1983) was a United States politician, most notable for representing North Dakota in the United States Senate from 1945 until 1981. At the time of his retirement, he was the most senior Republican in the Senate.

Young was born at Berlin, North Dakota, and graduated from LaMoure High School. He attended North Dakota State University and Graceland College. In 1919, he married Malinda Benson; they had three sons. Malinda died in 1969. (Young later married Patricia Byrne, his secretary in the Senate, of Bowman, North Dakota.) After college, Young returned home to operate his father's farm.

Young became increasingly interested in politics during the depression and drought of the late 1920s and 1930s. He was active in community affairs, serving on the school, township, and county Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) boards. He stood for election to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1932; he won, and was then elected to the state Senate just two years later. Young was also one of the key persons in developing the Republican Organizing Committee in North Dakota during the 1940s. With the death of John Moses in 1945, Governor Fred G. Aandahl appointed Young to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat, and Young was forced to relinquish management of the family farm, in order to fulfill his duties in Washington.

Young spent the remainder of his career in the Senate, becoming one of the longest-serving members of the Senate in its history. His major committee assignments were on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee, and the Appropriations committee of which he was the ranking Republican member. In 1974, during his last election for the U.S. Senate, Young's age was being used against him during the Republican primary; Young had himself filmed breaking a piece of board with his bare hands and easily won renomination.

As a result of the 1980 elections, Republicans won control of the Senate. Young, as the longest-serving Republican Senator, would have been in line to become President pro tempore. However, he had chosen to retire instead of running for a seventh six-year term. In deference to his long service in the body, he was elected President pro tempore by the lame-duck, Democratic controlled Senate on December 5, 1980, and served for one day.

Senator Young died at his retirement home in Sun City, Arizona on May 31, 1983 and was buried at Berlin, North Dakota. The Milton R. Young Power Plant in Oliver County, North Dakota was named in his honor.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
John Moses
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Dakota
March 12, 1945 – January 3, 1981
Served alongside: William Langer, Clarence Norman Brunsdale, Quentin N. Burdick
Succeeded by
Mark Andrews
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Warren Magnuson
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
December 5, 1980
Succeeded by
Warren Magnuson
Preceded by
George Aiken
Most Senior Republican United States Senator
1975 - 1981
Succeeded by
Strom Thurmond
South Carolina