James W. Symington
James W. Symington
Symington pictured c. 1969 during his first term in Congress
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Missouri's 2nd district
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1977
|Preceded by||Thomas B. Curtis|
|Succeeded by||Robert A. Young|
James Wadsworth Symington
September 28, 1927
Rochester, New York, U.S.
|Relatives||See Symington family|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
Columbia Law School
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1945-1946|
|Rank||Private First Class|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Order of Friendship (2008)|
James Wadsworth Symington (//; born September 28, 1927) is a United States attorney and politician who served as a four-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977, representing Missouri.
Youth, family, and education
Symington, son of Stuart (U.S. senator, Missouri) and Evelyn (Wadsworth) Symington, was born on September 28, 1927, in Rochester, New York. He is the great-grandson of James Wolcott Wadsworth (U.S. Congress, New York) and grandson of James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr. (U.S. Congress, New York) and great-grandson of John Hay. James attended St. Bernard's School in New York City, St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1945, he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17. He served in the Marine Corps as a private first class from 1945 to 1946. Symington earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1950 where he sang as a member of the Whiffenpoofs and the Glee Club. He also joined Berzelius secret society (according to the 1950 Yale Banner). He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1954.
Early legal career and public service
After graduating from law school, Symington served for two years as Assistant City Counselor (1954–1955) for St. Louis. In 1958, Symington entered the United States Foreign Service and was posted to London as assistant to John Hay Whitney, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and his cousin once removed on his mother's side. He served in this role until 1960, when he returned to private practice in Washington, D.C.. He served in a series of roles in government from 1961 to 1968: deputy director, Food for Peace (1961–1962); administrative assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1962–1963); director, President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency (1965–1966); consultant, President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1965–1966); and Chief of Protocol of the United States (1966–1968).
In 1968, Symington was elected as a Democrat to the 91st Congress to represent Missouri's 2nd Congressional District. He served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977. While in Congress, he served on the House Commerce Committee and the Committee on Science and Technology, chairing the subcommittees on Space Science and Applications; Science, Research & Technology; and International Cooperation.
In the 1976 election, he chose not to seek his seat for a fifth term; rather, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by his father, who retired after serving four terms. He faced Missouri Governor Warren Hearnes and Congressman Jerry Litton in the Democratic primary. Litton won the primary but was killed when his plane crashed en route to the victory party. Hearnes was named the Democratic candidate and ultimately lost to Republican Party candidate John Danforth. At the end of his congressional term, Symington returned to the D.C.-based law firm Smathers, Symington & Herlong as a partner.
Symington served as director of The Atlantic Council from 1986 to 2001, and as director of the Library of Congress Russian Leadership Program in 2001. In 1992, he founded the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, which he chaired from its inception until 2015. He also made occasional appearances as a singer.
As of 2001, he was practicing law with the law firm of Nossaman LLP/O'Connor & Hannan, where he specializes in legislative and administrative representation. Symington is also a writer. A collection of his poems, songs, and prose, A Muse 'N Washington: Beltway Ballads and Beyond , was published in 1999. Symington appeared as a commentator in the 1990 Ken Burns film The Civil War.
- "Goldwaters not only father-son team in congress". Arizona Republic. UPI. 29 June 1969. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Stuart Symington: A Life
- "Attorneys: James W. Symington". O'Connor & Hannan, LLC. Archived from the original on 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- Inside Webster News, 2001.
- "The Civil War, Episode 9". PBS. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- This article incorporates text from the U.S. government publication, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present.
- "SYMINGTON, James Wadsworth". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2006-07-26.
- "Symington, James W., Papers". Western Historical Manuscript Collection. University of Missouri - St. Louis. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- ""Symington, James Wadsworth" in Index to Politicians: Sword to Szyperski". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- "James W. Symington Will Speak at St. Louis Commencement". Inside Webster News. Webster University. April 10, 2001. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
- Symington, James W. (1999). A Muse N' Washington: Beltway Ballads and Beyond : Fifth Years of Politics and Other Pleasures in Poetry, Prose and Song. Pentland Press. ISBN 1-57197-142-4.
- Symington, James W. (November 10, 2003). "Into Cuba: The embargo must go". National Review. Archived from the original on December 16, 2004.
- James W. Symington Papers (1964–1976) at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis
- "House bills sponsored by Rep. James W. Symington". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Thomas B. Curtis
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 2nd congressional district
Robert A. Young