Fulbright, J. William

Fulbright, J. William

▪ United States senator
in full  James William Fulbright  
born April 9, 1905, Sumner, Mo., U.S.
died Feb. 9, 1995, Washington, D.C.

      American senator who initiated the international exchange program for scholars known as the Fulbright scholarship. He is also known for his vocal and articulate criticism of U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam during his tenure as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

      Fulbright graduated from the University of Arkansas, then went to Oxford—where he earned two degrees—as a Rhodes Scholar. Back in the United States, he received his law degree from George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) and taught law at the University of Arkansas, serving as president of the latter from 1939 to 1941.

      In 1942 Fulbright won a seat as a Democrat in the House of Representatives, thus beginning a political career that was to last more than three decades. His most notable achievement in the House was the 1943 Fulbright Resolution, putting the House on record as favouring U.S. participation in a postwar international organization. This organization at its founding in 1945 was named the United Nations.

      In 1944 Fulbright ran successfully for the Senate. The following year he initiated the Fulbright Act, establishing an educational exchange program for scholars between the United States and foreign countries.

      Fulbright voted against funding for Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-Communist investigations, an action that made him popular among liberals. He consistently opposed efforts to integrate schools and promote the civil rights of blacks, however, making it possible for him to be reelected from Arkansas in 1950, 1956, 1962, and 1968.

      As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1959–74), Fulbright advised President Kennedy not to invade Cuba, and he vigorously opposed President Johnson's 1965 intervention in the Dominican Republic.

      The American public came to know Fulbright best for his probing, articulate opposition to the Vietnam War, despite the fact that he initially supported U.S. involvement. Indeed, as an old friend and former Senate colleague of President Johnson, Fulbright had shepherded the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution through the Senate. In 1966, however, his committee held televised hearings on U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, from which he emerged as a leading proponent for an end to the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam and for peace talks to settle the Vietnamese conflict.

      Fulbright was defeated in the Arkansas Democratic primary contest for the Senate in 1974, and he retired later that year. He presented his views of U.S. foreign policy in a number of books, including Old Myths and New Realities (1964), The Arrogance of Power (1966), and The Crippled Giant (1972).

Additional Reading
Randall Bennett Woods, Fulbright: A Biography (1995), is a comprehensive biography that details Fulbright's involvement with major events and figures from the civil rights and Cold War eras of U.S. history.

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  • Fulbright, James William — (1905 1995)    J. William Fulbright was born in Missouri, but he was raised in Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1925. He then studied at Oxford University, England, as a Rhodes Scholar until 1928. Upon his return to the… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Fulbright, James William — ▪ 1996       U.S. politician (b. April 9, 1905, Sumner, Mo. d. Feb. 9, 1995, Washington, D.C.), was the congressional sponsor (1946) of the international foreign exchange program that by 1995 had provided Fulbright educational scholarships to… …   Universalium

  • William Fulbright — James William Fulbright (* 9. April 1905 in Sumner, Missouri; † 9. Februar 1995 in Washington) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Politik 3 Fulbright Programm …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fulbright Foundation — Die amerikanische Fulbright Kommission ist eine Organisation, die Stipendien für einen Studien , Forschungs oder Lehraufenthalt außerhalb der USA an US Amerikaner, sowie für Nichtamerikaner in den USA vergibt. Die österreichische Fulbright… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fulbright scholarship — n any of a number of US scholarships (= awards of money for study) given for exchanges between US and foreign universities and colleges. Those who receive them are called Fulbright scholars and include students and teachers. The programme was… …   Universalium

  • Fulbright — noun United States senator who is remembered for his creation of grants that fund exchange programs of teachers and students between the United States and other countries (1905 1995) • Syn: ↑William Fulbright, ↑James William Fulbright • Instance… …   Useful english dictionary

  • William Fulbright — noun United States senator who is remembered for his creation of grants that fund exchange programs of teachers and students between the United States and other countries (1905 1995) • Syn: ↑Fulbright, ↑James William Fulbright • Instance… …   Useful english dictionary

  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

  • Fulbright — puede referirse a: El senador de los EE.UU. J. William Fulbright. El Programa Fulbright, un programa de becas de estudio fundado por el senador Fulbright. La Comisión Fulbright encargada de financiar el programa Fulbright. Los Premios Fulbright… …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Durden — William G. Durden is the President of Dickinson College. He was a Fulbright scholar and a recipient of the Klingenstein Fellowship from Teacher s College, Columbia University. Durden completed high school at The Albany Academy in Albany, New York …   Wikipedia

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