Welcome to the United States Senators project on Geni! This project aims to bring together all of the profiles for the men and women who have served in the upper house of the American legislature since it was first convened in 1789.
Anyone who has ever served in the United States Senate should be added to the project.
The Senate maintains a list of all senators in U.S. history, which is the go-to reference for this project. This is the list that should be used for tracking down profiles to add and for determining which profiles still need to be created and connected to the Big Tree.
For writing biographical sketches, the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress is the best resource for vital information. Since the directory is a government-issued publication, feel free to quote generously from it as long as you cite the source.
Historical context about the Senate can be gleaned from the Senate Historical Office.
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each U.S. state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. Senators serve staggered six-year terms. The chamber of the United States Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., the national capital. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building.
The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. The Senate is both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives, due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The Senate has been described by some members of the American media as the "world's greatest deliberative body."
As of August 2014, the leaders of the Senate are:
- President: Joe Biden (D)
- President Pro Tempore: Patrick Leahy (D)
- Majority Leader: Harry Reid (D)
- Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R)
There are 53 members of the Democratic Caucus and 47 members of the Republican Conference. Two of the members of the Democratic Caucus are registered as independents.
The history of the United States Senate is rich with interesting facts and anecdotes. Among them:
- Sixteen Senators have gone on to be elected President of the United States, including the current president, Barack Obama of Illinois, who served from 2005 to 2008.
- 73 Senators have been independents and/or represented third parties, including current Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
- The first woman to be elected to both the House and Senate was Margaret Chase Smith of Maine in 1948.
- The first woman to serve in the Senate was Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia, who served for one day in 1922.
- The first woman elected to serve in the Senate was Hattie Wyatt Caraway, who was appointed in 1931 and elected in 1932.
- The current female Senator with the longest service is Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, in office since 1987.
- The annual salary of each senator, as of 2009, is $174,000; the president pro tempore and party leaders receive $193,400.
Please add more trivia!
What are some of the more interesting relationships between Senators you've found? Are some political rivals closer than they'd like to be? Please add them here!