Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reflections on Senator Russell

We recently hosted a presentation by former Russell Foundation chair Charles E. Campbell on his book, Senator Richard B. Russell and My Career as a Trial Lawyer: An Autobiography.  Campbell joined Senator Russell’s staff in 1965 and served first as legislative aide and then as executive secretary to the senator. After Russell’s death, Campbell finished his law degree and returned to Georgia, where he became a successful trial lawyer.

Many Russell family members were in the audience for the event, prompting Russell Library Director Sheryl Vogt to note that the event was “almost like a reunion.” In his presentation, Campbell focused on Russell’s lasting legacy as Georgia’s longest-serving senator. He described the evolution of Russell’s relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson, first as a fellow senator and then as president of the United States. Campbell also described Russell’s relationship with Ms. Pat Collins. Campbell worked very closely with the senator in the years just before his death, and he fondly remembered Russell’s integrity, independence, thriftiness, and dedication to his work in the senate. While completing research for the book, Campbell spent many hours in the Russell reading room, and our staff was happy to be able to host this event showcasing the fruits of his labor.

A recording of the book talk is available on YouTube:

Post by Callie Holmes, Oral History and Media Archivist, Russell Library

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