Warner, John W. (John William), 1927-2021
John William Warner III (February 18, 1927 – May 25, 2021) was an American attorney and politician who served as the United States Secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974 and a five-term Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1979 to 2009. Warner served as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2007. He also served as the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee from 1995 to 1999.
Born in Washington, D.C., Warner attended the elite St. Albans School before graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in February 1945. In January 1945, Warner enlisted in the United States Navy, serving until the following year, leaving as a petty officer third class. He went to college at Washington and Lee University, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi, graduating in 1949; he then entered the University of Virginia Law School. Warner joined the U.S. Marine Corps in October 1950, serving in Korea, continuing in the Marine Corps Reserves after the war, eventually reaching the rank of captain. He then resumed his studies, taking courses at the George Washington University, before receiving his law degree from UVA in 1953. That year, he became a law clerk to Chief Judge E. Barrett Prettyman of the United States Court of Appeals. In 1956, he became an assistant U.S. attorney. In 1960, he entered private law practice and joined Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). In the 1960 United States presidential election, he served as an aide to Vice President Richard Nixon's campaign team.
After giving substantial campaign funds and time to the Nixon presidential election, in February 1969, Warner was appointed Under Secretary of the Navy under the Nixon Administration. On May 4, 1972, he succeeded John H. Chafee as Secretary of the Navy. Thereafter Warner, was appointed by President Gerald Ford to be a participant in the Law of the Sea talks, and negotiated the U.S.-Soviet Incidents at Sea agreement which became a cause célèbre of pro-Détente doves in Soviet-American relations. He was subsequently appointed by Gerald Ford to the post of Director of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.
Warner was the sixth husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor, whom he married in 1976. He entered politics in the 1978 Virginia election for U.S. Senate, the moderate Warner finished second at the state Republican Party convention to the far more conservative politician Richard D. Obenshain. After Obenshain's death in a plane crash in August, Warner was chosen to replace him and won the general election that November. Warner was re-elected easily in 1984 and 1990, and faced his first real challenge for re-election in 1996 from political newcomer Democrat Mark Warner (no relation), a millionaire who vastly outspent the incumbent and produced an unusually close election. John Warner prevailed with 52% of the vote. In 2002, Warner faced no Democratic opposition and was easily re-elected to his fifth term.
He endorsed Mark Warner, the Democrat he had defeated in 1996, to succeed him in 2008. In 2014, Warner endorsed Mark Warner's Senate reelection bid. On September 28, 2016, Warner endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, praising Clinton's record of bipartisan cooperation. In 2018, he endorsed Democrats Tim Kaine for Senate and Abigail Spanberger and Leslie Cockburn for Congress. Though Warner did endorse Republican candidates Ed Gillespie for Governor in 2017 and Barbara Comstock for Virginia's 10th congressional district in 2018, in 2020, Warner endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President of the United States and Mark Warner for his reelection bid to the Senate.
Warner died from heart failure at his home in Alexandria, Virginia on May 25, 2021, at age 94. At the time of his death, Warner was the last Republican to have been a U.S. Senator from Virginia.
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|District of Columbia||DC||US|
|Equal rights amendments|
|Social security--Law and legislation--United States|
|Water--Pollution--Law and legislation|
|Coal slurry pipelines|
|American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976|
|Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Public opinion--Michigan|
|National health insurance--Law and legislation|
|Social security--Law and legislation|
|Civil rights--United States|
|Busing for school integration|
|National health insurance--Law and legislation--United States|
|Iraq War, 2003-2011|
|Fiscal policy--United States|
|Taxation--Law and legislation--United States|
|Busing for school integration--Michigan|
|Animal industry--Law and legislation--United States|
|Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion|
|Equal rights amendments--United States|
|Women legislators--United States|
|Coal mines and mining|
|Women's rights--United States|
|Sex discrimination--Law and legislation--United States|
|Political letter writing|
|Taxation--Law and legislation|
|Animal industry--Law and legislation|
|Insurance, Health--United States|
|Judges--Selection and appointment|
|Senators, U.S. Congress--Virginia|
|Federal Government Official|