Willard Saulsbury Jr.

Willard Saulsbury Jr.
United States Senator
from Delaware
In office
March 4, 1913  March 4, 1919
Preceded by Harry A. Richardson
Succeeded by L. Heisler Ball
President pro tempore
of the U.S. Senate
In office
December 14, 1916  March 4, 1919
Preceded by James Paul Clarke
Succeeded by Albert B. Cummins
Personal details
Born (1861-04-17)April 17, 1861
Georgetown, Delaware
Died February 20, 1927(1927-02-20) (aged 65)
Wilmington, Delaware
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) May du Pont
Residence Wilmington, Delaware
Alma mater University of Virginia
Profession Lawyer
Religion Episcopalian

Willard Saulsbury Jr. (April 17, 1861 February 20, 1927) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware and President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.

Early life and family

Saulsbury was born in Georgetown, Delaware, son of Willard Saulsbury, Sr., and nephew of Gove Saulsbury and Eli M. Saulsbury. He attended private schools and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall. Subsequently he studied law, was admitted to the Bar in 1882, and commenced practice in Wilmington, Delaware.

He was president of the New Castle Bar Association and chairman of the board of censors.

Political career

Saulsbury was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1908 until 1920, and was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator nearly every year, beginning in 1899.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1913, the first year that the position was filled by an election rather than by the General Assembly. During this term, he served with the Democratic majority in the 63rd, 64th, and 65th Congresses from March 4, 1913, until March 4, 1919. He was the President pro tempore of the Senate during the 64th and 65th Congress. In the 63rd, 64th, and 65th Congress he was Chairman of the Committee on Coast and Insular Survey, and in the 65th Congress he was also a member of the Committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico. In 1918, he lost to Republican L. Heisler Ball, a former U.S. Senator.

Later years

After leaving the Senate, he was a member of the advisory committee of the Conference on Limitation of Armaments in Washington, D.C., in 1921 and 1922, and a member of the Pan American Conference in Santiago, Chile, in 1923.

He continued the practice of law in Wilmington and Washington, D.C., until his death.

Saulsbury died in Wilmington and is buried in the Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery at Dover.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
U.S. Senator Legislature Washington March 4, 1913 March 3, 1919
United States Congressional service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1913–1915 63rd U.S. Senate Democratic Woodrow Wilson class 2
1915–1917 64th U.S. Senate Democratic Woodrow Wilson class 2
1917–1919 65th U.S. Senate Democratic Woodrow Wilson class 2
Election results
Year Office Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1918 U.S. Senator Willard Saulsbury Jr. Democratic 20,113 48% L. Heisler Ball Republican 21,519 51%


United States Senate
Preceded by
Harry A. Richardson
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Delaware
Succeeded by
L. Heisler Ball
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