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Robert C. Byrd

Senator Robert C. Byrd
Foreword by Governor Gaston Caperton


April 2015
PB 978-1-940425-54-2
epub 978-1-940425-55-9
50 images



This autobiography follows West Virginia senator Robert C. Byrd’s experiences from his boyhood in the early 1920s to his election in 2000, which won him an unprecedented eighth term in the Senate. Within these pages, Senator Byrd offers commentary on national and international events that occurred throughout his long life in public service. 

His journey from the hardscrabble coalfields to the marbled halls of Congress has inspired generations of people in West Virginia and throughout the nation. From reading the stories of the Founding Fathers as a young boy by the light of a kerosene lamp to the swearing of an oath for more than a half-century to guard the US Constitution, Senator Byrd’s life is legendary. 

Until his death on June 28, 2010, Byrd stood by his principles, earning the affection of the people of his home state and the respect of Americans from all walks of life. With his beloved Erma ever by his side, Robert C. Byrd never forgot his roots, harkening back to those early lessons that he learned as a child of the Appalachian coalfields.

This new paperback edition includes a foreword by Gaston Caperton, governor of West Virginia from 1989–1997.



  1. Foreword by Gaston Caperton
  2. Child of the Appalachian Coalfields
  3. The Depression Years
  4. A Political Career Begins
  5. Mr. Byrd Goes to Washington
  6. Around the World in Sixty-Six Days
  7. Excelsior!
  8. The Sapling Grows Tall
  9. Stormy Waters
  10. Climbing the Leadership Ladder
  11. A Visit to Russia
  12. Muddy Waters
  13. A Supreme Court Nomination?
  14. Building West Virginia Piece by Piece
  15. The Old Order Changeth
  16. The Top Rung—Majority Leader (1977)
  17. Second Fiddle
  18. Back in the Saddle Again
  19. Elected President Pro Tempore
  20. A Hand on the Purse Strings
  21. Building a New West Virginia
  22. West Virginia on thr Go
  23. Bits and Pieces
  24. Building a 21st Century West Virginia
  25. The Winds of Change
  26. The Tide Ebbs
  27. Full Circle
  28. The Return of the Native
  29. Dribs and Drabs
  30. Line-Item Veto Struck Down
  31. In the Heat of Battle
  32. Semper Fidelis
  33. Afterword


"Isn't this the true American story for this century? A complete turnabout in one's life raised in Crabtree, West Virginia in an environment of racism. This story is a complete compilation of someone overcoming that old battle of nature vs. nurture."
Ryan Swanek

"For those who want a personal and in-depth account of the senator's life and career, this book is essential reading."