Hartke, Vance (Rupert) 1919-2003

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HARTKE, Vance (Rupert) 1919-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born May 31, 1919, in Stendal, IN; died of a heart attack July 27, 2003, in Fairfax, VA. Politician, attorney, and author. Hartke was a former U.S. senator from Indiana who gained national attention for his opposition to the Vietnam War and support of civil liberties. A graduate of the University of Evansville in 1941, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and the Navy, rising from seaman to lieutenant during World War II. He then returned to college, completing a law degree at Indiana University in 1948. For the next two years he ran a private law practice, and was appointed deputy prosecutor for the city of Evansville, Illinois, in 1950. In 1955 he was elected mayor of Evansville, and in 1958 he won the U.S. Senate seat. While in the senate Hartke served on the commerce and finance committees and was also chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs; he fought for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and for Medicare and Medicaid legislation. He also opposed the Vietnam War as early as 1965, and when he ran for the office of president in 1972 his platform included the promise to withdraw all U.S. troops from Indochina. Although he lost the presidential election, Hartke served one more term as senator before losing his seat in 1976. He then set up the law firm of Hartke & Hartke. Hartke's writings include The American Crisis in Vietnam (1968) and You and Your Senator (1970).



Tucker, Spencer C., editor, Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political and Military History, American Bibliographic Center-Clio (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998.


Chicago Tribune, July 29, 2003, section 1, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2003, p. B13.

New York Times, July 29, 2003, p. A23.

Times (London, England), August 11, 2003.

Washington Post, July 29, 2003, p. B6.

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Hartke, Vance (Rupert) 1919-2003

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