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Carl Levin

(1934 - 2021 )

Carl Levin was a Jewish American politician who served as the senior U.S. Senator from Michigan.

Levin was born on June 28, 1934, in Detroit, where he graduated from Central High School. In 1956, he graduated with honors from Swarthmore College, and from Harvard University Law School in 1959. He practiced and taught law in Michigan until 1964, when he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General of Michigan and the first general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.

Levin won election to the Detroit City Council in 1969, becoming President in 1973.

In 1978, Levin won an upset victory over the number two Republican in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin, and has since be reelected five consecutive times.

Levin served as the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he earned a reputation as a strong advocate for the men and women of our Armed Forces and as an effective waste fighter.

Levin was always a strong advocate for the interests of small businesses in Michigan. As a senior member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Levin understood that small business is the heart of America's job creation. He worked to increase the amount of SBA government guaranteed loans that are made to small businesses, providing credit to those businesses that otherwise would not qualify for conventional bank loans.

On March 7, 2013, Levin announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014 and would retire from the Senate at the conclusion of his sixth term in office.

Levin married Barbara Halpern in 1961. They have three daughters, Kate, Laura and Erica, and two granddaughters, Noa, born in 1999, and Bess, born in 2000.

His older brother Sander has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1983. From 2010-2012, Sander chaired the Ways and Means Committee and Carl chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee, making them perhaps the most powerful brothers in Washington. Together, they were the longest serving siblings in the history of Congress.

Levin died on July 29, 2021, at the age of 87.

Sources: Senator Carl Levin, U.S. Senate.
Carl Levin, Wikipedia.

Ron Kampeas, “Carl Levin, longtime Jewish senator from Michigan, dies at 87,” JTA, (July 29, 2021).

Photo: Public domain.