Died when: 59 years 257 days
Star Sign: Leo
Frank Forrester Church III (July 25, 1924 – April 7, 1984) was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Idaho from 1957 to 1981. He is known for heading the Church Committee, which investigated abuses within the United States Intelligence Community. Church was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and served as a military intelligence officer in the China Burma India Theater during World War II. He established a legal practice in Boise after graduating from Stanford Law School. He defeated incumbent Republican Senator Herman Welker in Idaho's 1956 Senate election, becoming one of the youngest individuals ever to serve in the Senate. In the Senate, Church became a protégé of Lyndon B. Johnson and established a reputation as a member of the party's liberal wing. He sponsored the Wilderness Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. He became an important figure in American foreign policy and chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1979 to 1981. He was one of the first Senators to publicly oppose the Vietnam War, and co-sponsored legislation to curtail the war. In 1975, Church led the Church Committee, which inspired the passage of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He also led the effort to ratify the Torrijos–Carter Treaties, which returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. Church sought the Democratic nomination in the 1976 presidential election, but withdrew from the race in favor of Jimmy Carter. Church won re-election to the Senate in 1962, 1968, and 1974, but narrowly lost his bid for a fifth term to Republican Steve Symms. After leaving the Senate, Church practiced international law until his death in 1984.