Pell, Claiborne de Borda

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Claiborne de Borda Pell, 1918–2009, U.S. politician, b. New York City, grad. Princeton (B.A., 1940), Columbia (M.A., 1946). From an old, distinguished American family, he served (1941–45) in the coast guard before entering (1946) the Foreign Service, which posted him in Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Washington, D.C. An investment banker from 1952, he was elected U.S. senator from Rhode Island in 1960 and served seven terms. A lberal Democrat, he is best known for the 1972 legislation that established the Pell Grants, which have provided funds to millions of low- and middle-income college students. Ultimately an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, Pell later chaired (1987–94) the foreign relations committee and opposed U.S. intervention in Lebanon, Nicaragua, Bosnia, and other nations. He also authored the 1965 law that created what now are the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.