Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh passed away this morning at the age of 91.
Bayh, a native of Terre Haute, served as Indiana’s senator for nearly 20 years, from 1963 to 1981. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 1976, losing the Democratic Party nod to Jimmy Carter.
Bayh was the only non-Founding Father to author two amendments, the 25th (regarding the presidential succession plan) and 26th (regarding the voting age of 18).
Like many famous politicians, there was a connection to Crawfordsville. On May 24, 1972 Bayh gave a speech at Crawfordsville High School. He was very likely here because of his connections to former Crawfordsville businessman and auto dealer Larry Cummings.
The former owner of Larry Cummings Olds-GMC (located where Christi Hubler Chevrolet now sits), was active in Bayh’s U.S. Senate campaign before he graduated from Wabash College. After Bayh was elected, Cummings stayed involved with the Bayh family. When Evan Bayh, Birch’s son, became governor of Indiana, he made Cummings the chair for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Nominating Commission and a member of the Executive Committee of the State of Indiana Economic Development Commission.
Cummings passed away in 2013.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement. "Birch Bayh was a trailblazer who dedicated himself to improving the lives of all Hoosiers. His remarkable legislative and personal legacy transformed the country and will live on for years to come. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join me and Janet in honoring his incredible service and by keeping the Bayh family in your thoughts and prayers."

Holcomb also directed flags across the state to be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on the day of his funeral, which has not yet been announced.

The chair of the Indiana Democratic Party Chairman, John Zody, also made a statement. “Birch Bayh was driven by a belief in what we could accomplish given equal opportunity. That simple truth belies towering accomplishments. A United States Senator who twice amended the Constitution, father of Title IX, contributor to critical civil rights legislation. His legacy endures every day on college campuses. It endures in the form of equal opportunity, the right to vote and that all Americans deserve justice. He was a champion of Democratic values and was, in every way, a Hoosier. If you had the privilege of spending time with him when he was out helping Democratic candidates, he was always happy to share a story about his time in office. His public service is an example to all of us, and we will miss him very much. Thank you, Senator Bayh. You fought to make a difference, and you did – immeasurably.”