Howard M. Metzenbaum

From Ohio History Central
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Senator Howard Metzenbaum

Howard Morton Metzenbaum was a prominent United States Representative and Senator from Ohio during the late twentieth century.

Metzenbaum was born on June 4, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from The Ohio State University with his undergraduate degree in 1939. He graduated from the same institution with his law degree in 1941.

Upon graduating, Metzenbaum briefly practiced law before embarking upon a career in politics. A member of the Democratic Party, he won election to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1942, serving two terms from 1943 to 1947. In 1947, he joined the Ohio Senate, remaining in this body for four years. Following leaving the Ohio Senate, Metzenbaum returned to his legal practice and also became involved in the newspaper industry.

Metzenbaum did not seek elected office again until 1970, losing a bid for a seat in the United States Senate. He returned to Cleveland, where he operated several newspapers. In 1974, Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan appointed Metzenbaum to the Senate, replacing William B. Saxbe, who had resigned to become United States Attorney General. Metzenbaum lost his bid to retain the Senate seat in the 1974 election, losing out to John Glenn. In 1976, Metzenbaum finally won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating Robert Taft, Jr., the incumbent.

In the Senate, Metzenbaum became well known for his liberal stance. He vehemently opposed trusts and routinely threatened to make Major League Baseball accountable to the nation's anti-trust laws. He also championed working-class issues and was a strong supporter of abortion rights. Metzenbaum won reelection in 1982 and 1988, but he refused to seek a fourth term in 1994. Republican Mike DeWine won election to Metzenbaum's seat.

In 1995, Metzenbaum became chairman of the Consumer Federation of America. He died on March 12, 2008.

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