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Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., 1921-2006

Lloyd Bentsen with President Bill Clinton

Contact: Alison Beck, Associate Director
Center for American History
Phone: (512) 495-4515
Fax: (512) 495-4542

Date: May 24, 2006

The staff of the University of Texas Center for American History pay tribute to the Honorable Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., former U.S. Senator 1971-1992, and Secretary of the Treasury, 1993-1994.

Mr. Bentsen's legacy is documented in his papers, which he donated to the Center's Congressional History Archive in 1996. Over 2600 cubic feet of correspondence, memoranda, scrapbooks, legislative research files, Federal Election Commission Reports and other campaign records, telephone logs, calendars, photographs, video and audio tapes, memorabilia and artifacts constitute this historically valuable collection.

The Bentsen Collection is one of the most significant resources in existence reflecting the work of the U.S. Senate in the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, and it will be useful to researchers in diverse fields for many years to come. The collection is especially valuable for its documentation of the history of energy and trade issues, tax and banking policy, and the shaping of the federal budget.

One of the most influential members of the Senate during the years he was in office (1971-1992), Senator Bentsen was especially noted for his knowledge of economic policy. The collection therefore contains abundant materials relating to the development of American trade and tax policies during the Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations. The Bentsen archive ranks in value with and provides a critical supplement to the documentation available in the libraries of each one of those four U.S. presidents. In addition, Bentsen´s well-known insistence on the careful maintenance of detailed records on every official activity involving his office make his collection unusually valuable for scholarship and teaching.

"Senator Bentsen´s deep love of the University was at the heart of his decision to place his papers here," says Don E. Carleton, director of the Center for American History. "But he also recognized our exemplary record of taking care of such collections and making them widely accessible." The center´s growing Congressional History Collection holds the papers of more than 50 former members of Congress, including Senators Morris Sheppard and Ralph Yarborough, and Representatives Sam Rayburn, James Buchanan, Bob Eckhardt, and others.

A Guide to the Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. Papers is available online at