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Senator George W. Norris

Senator George Norris was an American statesman who's considered the father of the Rural Electrification Act, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Norris was the 5-term U.S. Senator (1913-43) who wrote the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which eliminated the "lame-duck" Congress, altered the date of the president's inauguration, among other changes. He was also a 5-term U.S. Congressman (1903-13).

It was Senator Norris who championed the concept of the non-partisan, single-house legislature. After approval by voters in 1934, Nebraska later became the very first state to reform and convert its state legislatures into a one-house legislature. He famously voted against U.S. entry into World War I, but is best remembered for helping bring electricity to rural areas throughout the United States via the Rural Electrification Act, and improving the lives of millions through the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Over his long career he earned a reputation as a man of integrity, and is considered one of the most respected senators of all time by many historians.

Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: George William Norris

Date and place of birth: July 11, 1861, near Clyde, Sandusky County, Ohio, U.S.A.

Date, place and cause of death: September 2, 1944*, at 706 Main Avenue (now Norris Avenue), McCook, Nebraska, U.S.A. (Stroke)

Marriage #1
Wife: Pluma Lashley (m. 1890 - 1901) (her death)

Marriage #2
Wife: Ellie Leonard (m. 1903 - September 2, 1944) (his death)

Daughters: Hazel Norris, Marian Norris, and Gertrude Norris

Burial site: Memorial Park Cemetery, McCook, Nebraska, U.S.A.

Error corrections or clarifications

* Senator Norris did not die "September 22," as some editions of the Grolier Encyclopedia claim. Some editions of Encyclopedia Britannica mistakenly state he died "September 3."

Additional note: He died in the upstairs, east bedroom of his home at 706 Main Avenue (now Norris Avenue), in McCook, Nebraska.

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