Thomas W. L. Ashley, U.S. Congress

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Thomas William Ludlow "Lud" Ashley

Birthdate: (87)
Birthplace: Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, United States
Death: June 15, 2010 (87)
Leland, Leelanau County, Michigan, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Meredith Ashley and Mary Alida Ludlow
Brother of William Meredith Ashley, Jr.

Managed by: Private User
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About Thomas W. L. Ashley, U.S. Congress

Thomas William Ludlow Ashley (January 11, 1923 – June 15, 2010), usually known as Lud Ashley, was an American politician of the Democratic party. He served as a U.S. representative from Ohio from 1955 to 1981.


He was the great-grandson of James Mitchell Ashley, who was also a congressman from Ohio. While at Yale University, he was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones along with future U.S. President George H. W. Bush.

Ashley was born in Toledo, Ohio. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army as a corporal in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

Following the war, Ashley graduated in 1948 from Yale University. He then worked with the Toledo Publicity and Efficiency Commission while studying law during night classes at the University of Toledo Law School. He then graduated from Ohio State University Law School at Columbus in 1951. He was admitted to the bar the same year and began practicing law.

Ashley joined the staff of Radio Free Europe (RFE) in 1952. He served in Europe for RFE and was the co-director of the press section and later was the assistant director of special projects. He resigned from RFE on March 1, 1954 in order to wage a successful bid for Congress.

He served thirteen terms in Congress and served as the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy (Ad Hoc) from 1977 until 1979 and then as Chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries from 1979 until 1981.

In the 1980 general election, Ashley lost in an upset to Republican challenger Ed Weber. He lived in Leland, Michigan until his death. He had a daughter, Lise Ashley Murphy and two sons, William Meredith and Mark Michael.

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Thomas W. L. Ashley, U.S. Congress's Timeline

January 11, 1923
Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, United States
June 15, 2010
Age 87
Leland, Leelanau County, Michigan, United States