SMITH, Ralph Tyler, (1915 - 1972)

Senate Years of Service: 1969-1970
Party: Republican

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

SMITH, Ralph Tyler, a Senator from Illinois; born in Granite City, Madison County, Ill., October 6, 1915; attended public schools in Granite City; graduated from Illinois College at Jacksonville in 1937 and from Washington University Law School at St. Louis in 1940; admitted to the bar in 1940 and commenced practice in Granite City; enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve immediately after Pearl Harbor, ordered to active duty in July 1942, commissioned an ensign in October 1942 and served until January 1946; resumed the practice of law in Alton, Ill., in 1946; elected to the Illinois general assembly in 1954, and was reelected for seven succeeding terms; majority whip in 1963; elected speaker in 1967 and reelected in 1969; appointed on September 17, 1969, as a Republican to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate created by the death of Everett M. Dirksen and served from September 17, 1969, to November 16, 1970; unsuccessful candidate for election to fill the unexpired term in 1970; resumed the practice of law; died in Alton, Ill., August 13, 1972; interment in Sunset Hill Cemetery Mausoleum, Edwardsville, Ill.


Dictionary of American Biography.