Warner, John W. (John William), 1927-2021

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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.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner, 1979-1985. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Senator John W. Warner Papers [manuscript], June 6-2006 December 8. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Barrett, Clifton Waller, 1901-. Papers of Clifton Waller Barrett, 1976-1977. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. AMERICAN PILOT RECEIVING CONGRAULATIONS FROM WARNER, AND ADM. MOFFETT, SCHNEIDER TROPHY RACES, NORFOLK, VA National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Indritz, Phineas., 1932-1997. Papers of Phineas Indritz, 1932-1997 (bulk 1945-1990). Howard University, Law Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. SECNAV AND ASTRONAUTS (Apollo 14) National Archives at College Park
referencedIn James H. Latimer Papers, 1864-2000 Library of Virginia
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of Senator Warner [manuscript], 2000 November 27,--2001-August 28, 2001. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Senator John W. Warner Papers [manuscript], 2005 Nov.18-2006 Aug.16. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner [manuscript], 1979-1993. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. CNO CHANGE OF COMMAND - 1970 (MN-11035)
creatorOf Byrd, Harry Flood, 1914-. Papers of Harry F. Byrd, Jr., [manuscript], 1924-2003. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner [manuscript], 1985-1986. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. RETIREMENT OF VADM JAMES D. RAMAGE
creatorOf Payne, L. F., Jr. Papers of L.F. Payne, Jr., 1987-1996. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. NATO MINISTERS. On Board USS Saratoga (CVA-60)
creatorOf Kilpatrick, James Jackson, 1920-. Papers of James J. Kilpatrick [manuscript], 1959-1985. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner, 1993-1999. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Odom, William E. Papers, 1972-1990 (bulk 1977-1988). Library of Congress
referencedIn William E. Odom Papers, 1918-1992, (bulk 1977-1988) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003. Strom Thurmond military assistant. 1962-, 1970-1986. Clemson University Libraries, Robert Muldrow Cooper Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers from his service as administrator of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, 1967-1976. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Conservation Council of Virginia. Papers of the Conservation Council of Virginia, 1969-1984 [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of Senator Warner [manuscript], 2001 October-2004 February. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn University of Virginia. News Office. Films of University events [manuscript], 1941-1985. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWR (CVAN-69) KEEL LAYING National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner [manuscript], 1979-1985. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Bowles, George. Papers of George Bowles, 1976-1984. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Odom, William E. William E. Odom papers, 1918-1992 (bulk 1977-1988). Library of Congress
creatorOf Michael, J. Harry (James Harry), 1918-2005. Papers of J. Harry Michael, 1958-1986. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Childs, J. Rives (James Rives), 1893-1987. Papers of J. Rives Childs 1973-1979 University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner, 1985-1986. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Shatz, Frank. Frank and Jaroslava Shatz Papers. William & Mary Libraries
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVAN-69) KEEL LAYING National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner, 1972-1976. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Correspondence of John Warner, 1979-[ongoing]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVAN-69) KEEL LAYING
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Newsclippings concerning John W. Warner's senatorial campaign, 1984. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Grimsley, Edward. Papers of Edward Grimsley,1961-1997. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn 8/6/81, Pres. Anwar Sadat and Rep. Jim Wright (T-30123) Jimmy Carter Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Senator John Warner papers, 1979-2009. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Hawkins, Marshall P., 1910-. Marshall Hawkins photograph collection, photographic prints, 1940-1980 1960-1975. National Sporting Library & Museum, National Sporting Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. John W. Warner : commercials, 1984. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. NATO MINISTERS
referencedIn Coulter, Michael. Senator John Warner papers from the files of Michael Coulter [manuscript], 1998-1999. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Kelly, C. Brian. Papers of C. Brian Kelly [manuscript], 1959-1978. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of Senator Warner [manuscript], 2002 April 3-2003 June 12. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of Senator Warner [manuscript], 2003 July-2004 September. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf McClellan, Woodford. Papers : of Woodford McClellan, 1975-1982. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner [manuscript] 1976-1977. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Van Yahres, Mitchell, 1926-. Mitchell Van Yahres papers [manuscript], 1975-2006. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner [manuscript], 1993-1999. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Warner, John W., 1927-. Papers of John W. Warner, 1979-1993. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. CNO AND UNDER SECNAV VISIT TO USS JOHN F KENNEDY
creatorOf Boyer, Ernest L. Cassette tapes of University of Virginia events [manuscript], 1981-1990. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Barrett, Clifton Waller, 1901- person
associatedWith Bowles, George. person
associatedWith Bush, George W. (George Walker), 1946- person
associatedWith Byrd, Harry Flood, 1914- person
associatedWith Childs, J. Rives (James Rives), 1893-1987. person
associatedWith Clinton, Bill, 1946- person
associatedWith Clinton, Hillary Rodham person
associatedWith Cohen, Carl, 1931- person
associatedWith Conservation Council of Virginia. corporateBody
associatedWith Coulter, Michael. person
associatedWith Curtis, Carl T. (Carl Thomas), 1905- person
associatedWith DuPont, Pierre Samuel, 1935- person
almaMaterOf George Washington University. Law School. corporateBody
associatedWith Gingrich, Newt person
associatedWith Ginsburg, Ruth Bader person
associatedWith Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931- person
associatedWith Gore, Albert, 1948- person
associatedWith Gore, Tipper, 1948- person
associatedWith Graham, Billy, 1918- person
associatedWith Grimsley, Edward. person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Hart, Sidney. person
associatedWith Hawkins, Marshall P., 1910- person
associatedWith Hayward, Charles F. person
associatedWith Indritz, Phineas., 1932-1997. person
associatedWith Jackson, Jesse, 1941- person
associatedWith Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863. person
associatedWith Kelly, C. Brian. person
associatedWith Kennedy, Anthony M., 1936- person
associatedWith Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 person
associatedWith Kilpatrick, James Jackson, 1920- person
associatedWith Latimer, James Howe, 1913-2000. person
associatedWith McCain, John, 1936- person
associatedWith McClellan, Woodford. person
associatedWith Michael, J. Harry (James Harry), 1918-2005. person
associatedWith Mink, Patsy T., 1927- person
associatedWith Moore, William P., person
associatedWith Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Connor, Sandra Day, 1930- person
correspondedWith Odom, William E. person
correspondedWith Odom, William E. person
associatedWith Payne, L. F., Jr. person
associatedWith Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890 person
associatedWith Reagan, Ronald person
associatedWith Republican National Convention (1984 : Dallas) corporateBody
associatedWith Robb, Charles S. person
associatedWith Saint Anselm College (Manchester, N.H.) corporateBody
associatedWith Shatz, Frank. person
associatedWith Souter, David H., 1939- person
almaMaterOf St. Albans School corporateBody
spouseOf Taylor, Elizabeth, 1932-2011 person
associatedWith Thomas, Clarence. person
associatedWith Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003. person
associatedWith Trible, Paul. person
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate corporateBody
employeeOf United States. Department of Defense corporateBody
memberOf United States. Marine Corps corporateBody
memberOf United States. Navy corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Virginia. News Office. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf University of Virginia. School of law corporateBody
associatedWith Van Yahres, Mitchell, 1926- person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Lexington VA US
Alexandria VA US
District of Columbia DC US
Charlottesville VA US
Subject
Women--History
Equal rights amendments
Social security--Law and legislation--United States
Water--Pollution--Law and legislation
Fiscal policy
Coal slurry pipelines
American Revolution Bicentennial, 1776-1976
Mail preparation
Civil rights
Women
Women legislators
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Public opinion--Michigan
Radio advertising
National health insurance--Law and legislation
Social security--Law and legislation
Civil rights--United States
Advertising, political
Busing for school integration
National health insurance--Law and legislation--United States
Iraq War, 2003-2011
Fiscal policy--United States
Legislators--United States
Women legislators--Biography
Taxation--Law and legislation--United States
Busing for school integration--Michigan
Animal industry--Law and legislation--United States
Arms control
Television advertising
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion
Presidents--Election--1984
Holidays
Equal rights amendments--United States
Women legislators--United States
Legislators
Coal mines and mining
Women's rights--United States
Women's rights
Avian influenza
Sex discrimination--Law and legislation--United States
Governors--Election--1985
Political letter writing
Lawyers
Taxation--Law and legislation
Lieutenant governors--Biography
Animal industry--Law and legislation
Insurance, Health--United States
Judges--Selection and appointment
Occupation
Lawyers
Senators, U.S. Congress--Virginia
Law clerks
Federal Government Official
Farmers
Activity

Person

Birth 1927-02-18

Death 2021-05-25

Male

Americans

English

Information

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