Indiana Remembers Former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh

Mar 14, 2019


Bayh with Representative Lee Hamilton at the 1967 Democratic-Republican baseball game on July 13, 1967.
Credit IU Archives

Former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana has died at age 91. Indiana officials are remembering the longtime politician.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has directed flags across Indiana to be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on the day of Bayh's funeral, which has not yet been announced. 

The governor also asked Indiana businesses and residents to lower their flags to honor Bayh, calling him "a trailblazer who dedicated himself to improving the lives of all Hoosiers."

Holcomb said Bayh's "remarkable legislative and personal legacy" had transformed the nation. He urged Hoosiers to keep Bayh's family in their thoughts and prayers.

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton says Bayh's most significant impact was Title IX. 

"Title IX is only a few words, it's not a long law at all," Hamilton says. "But it had a profound impact on creating opportunities for women especially, but for minorities in general." 

Sen. Todd Young calls Bayh a "modern-day founding father." 

"He used his tensure in the Senate to push for substantive and substantial change," Young said in a tweet. "While we remember his legacy, my thoughts and prayers are will the entire Bayh family." 

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody says Bayh's legacy endures every day. 

"Birch Bayh was driven by a belief in what we could accomplish given equal opportunity," Zody said in a statement. "He was a champion of Democratic values and was, in every way, a Hoosier. If you had the privilege of spending time with him when he was out helping Democratic candidates, he was always happy to share a story about his time in office. His public service is an example to all of us, and we will miss him very much." 

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