Henry Fountain Ashurst

2012-02-05T00:00:00Z 2012-08-02T08:00:31Z Henry Fountain Ashurst Arizona Daily Star
February 05, 2012 12:00 am

During 29 years in U.S. Senate, he was a great 'freewheeling' orator

Henry Fountain Ashurst represented Arizona in the U.S. Senate for its first 29 years.

He was born in a wagon in 1874 as his parents were moving west to settle in a log cabin south of Bill Williams Mountain.

Ashurst, a liberal Democrat, left school at 13 but eventually went to college and earned a law degree.

When Ashurst died in 1962 the Associated Press obituary called him "last of the great, oratorical freewheelers."

"He drenched the Senate," the AP reported, "with rococo words rarely found nowadays except in unabridged dictionaries."

Ashurst, who loved to read and quote from Shakespeare, also had a sense of humor: "A man may have read Julius Caesar, but if he hasn't ever played poker, I wouldn't vote for him."

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