Sam T. Rayburn (1882-1961) was a lawyer from Bonham, Texas who served for 45 years as Representative (D) to the U.S. Congress. He presided over the House of Representatives for 17 years, more than twice as long as any House Speaker in American history. In his position as Speaker, he exercised great influence and was responsible for the formulation and support of many progressive social and economic laws and policies.
"Mr. Sam," as he was called, was known and loved by many. He was closely associated with Lyndon B. Johnson, whose name he placed in nomination against that of John F. Kennedy in 1960. Johnson lost the race for presidency, but gained the second spot on the winning ticket and became the U.S. Vice President. Sam Rayburn died of cancer at age 79. He is remembered as a master of parliamentary tactics.