- Category : Law-Attorney
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 1
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, named as vice-presidential running mate to candidate Michael Dukakis on 7/13/1988. With a background of nearly a quarter of a century in the House and Senate, he was known for voting moderate to conservative and for his urbane, emphatic leadership. At the elections in November 1988, Republican George Bush won the presidency.
From a wealthy gentry family background, Bentsen met model Beryl Ann Longino when he was a young military officer in 1941, studying at the University of Austin. They corresponded, and married on 11/27/1943 after actually only six dates.
Bentsen went into active service 1942-1945 and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross before leaving the military. He and both brothers were aviators in WW II and he flew 50 missions in B-24s as one of the youngest squadron commanders in the Army Air Corps. He passed the bar in 1945 while still in the army and served as a Judge from 1945-1948.
He then became the youngest member of the U.S. House of Representatives. After three terms he left the House and used his family's wealth to establish a successful insurance and investment business in Houston. He was soon a multi-millionaire in his own right and ready to run for public office again. In 1970 he was the party's Senate nominee, and beat George Bush for the post.
Known as an aristocrat, Bentsen had few close friends in Congress and even when relaxing at his 130-acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia was said to wear elegant calfskin boots and tailored clothes. Fluent in Spanish, his civil rights record leaned toward the liberal. He has a keen political instinct and is a consummate negotiator, well-organized, fair and attentive to detail. Calm, well-prepared and self-assured, he is always cautious and in control. These same qualities tend to make him bland and hard to know.
The Bentsen's had three kids, two boys and a girl. Their first grandchild died of cancer at the age of two and two other grandchildren were born handicapped. The family is close-knit and Bentsen is passionate on issues that address the welfare of children.
The 85-year-old politician died on the morning of May 23, 2006 at 8:45 AM local time at his home in Houston, TX (time taken from a CNN news report).
He had been suffering from declining health since suffering a stroke in 1999.