|U.S. Senator from Mississippi|
From: January 3, 1989 - December 18, 2007
|U.S. Representative from Mississippi's 5th Congressional District|
From: January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1989
|Predecessor||William M. Colmer|
|Successor||Larkin I. Smith|
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Thompson Lott|
After graduating from the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Trent Lott was the staffer for Rules Committee chairman William Colmer, a conservative Democrat. When Colmer retired in 1972, Lott ran as a Republican for the House and received Colmer's endorsement. In the House, Lott defended President Richard M. Nixon in Watergate and achieved prominence as Minority Whip from 1981-1989. In 1988 he was elected to the United States Senate to succeed John Stennis. In the Senate, he has served as Majority Leader and Minority Leader, and completed his tenure as the Minority Whip in 2007.
Long attacked by the liberal media, they forced Lott to resign his position as Majority Leader after he praised Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party in connection with his presidential bid in 1948. Media reports implied that it was racist for Lott to praise Thurmond in such a manner, as Thurmond had run on a pro-segregation and states' rights platform. Lott was then replaced as Majority Leader by the Bush-selected Senator Bill Frist, who was inexperienced and less effective in running the U.S. Senate. In January 2010, the Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid was quoted in making a far more offensive racial remark, but liberals defended his remaining in power.
In 2007, Lott came under increasing fire from many conservatives for his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants. His seat was set to come up for election in 2012, but he announced in November 2007 that he would step down from Senate by the end of the year, and he left office at the end of that year.