Democratic politician and fifty-fourth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. From 1947 until 1977, he represented Oklahoma's third district in the U.S. Congress.
While studying political science at the University of Oklahoma, he won a national public speaking competition and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford.
After retiring from politics, he co-wrote an autobiographical work entitled Little Giant.
The son of an Oklahoma coal miner father, he grew up in the town of Bugtussle. His marriage to Mary Harmon resulted in a daughter and a son.
He served as Speaker of the House under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.