William Proxmire

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William Proxmire (1915-2005) was a liberal senator from Wisconsin serving from 1957 until 1989. His seat was previously held by Joseph McCarthy. He was a notable early opponent of the Vietnam War, and was critical of what he considered wasteful military spending. In a similar vein he would issue ironic "Golden Fleece" Awards to scientific projects which he deemed a waste of taxpayer money, including to projects such as NASA's search for extraterrestrial life. The longest campaign of his career was supporting the United States' ratification of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, for which he made over 3,000 speeches between 1967 and 1986. The convention was ratified in 1988 with reservations.[1][2]


  1. Power, Samantha. 'A Problem from Hell': America and the Age of Genocide. Harper Perennial, 2002.
  2. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000553