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Birch Bayh, senator and Title IX architect, has died

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/14/19, 12:55 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., who championed the federal law banning discrimination against women in education, died from pneumonia at his home in Maryland on Thursday. He was 91. The liberal Democrat won three narrow U.S. Senate elections in Indiana, starting in 1962, a time when Republicans won the state in four of the five U.S. presidential elections. Bayh’s hold on the seat ended with a loss to Dan Quayle, future vice president of the United States, in 1980. His son, Evan Bayh, followed him into politics and became Indiana’s governor and a U.S. senator.

Bayh sponsored a constitutional amendment lowering the voting age to 18 amid protests over the Vietnam War and another amendment allowing the replacement of vice presidents. He wrote and was the lead sponsor of Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972, which prohibited gender discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. His wife, Marvella, preceded him in death in 1979 at age 46 after battling cancer. He is survived by his second wife, Kitty, sons Evan and Christopher, and four grandchildren.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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