25 United States Senators have served six terms or close to 36 years out of 1, 963 individuals who have served in the upper body of Congress.
17 0f these 25 served as Democrats, with 8 serving as Republicans.
11 come from the South, with 9 being Democrats, and only 2 being Republicans.
Longevity does not, necessarily, mean greatness in history, as many of the 25 are far from standouts in their years in the US Senate.
The most memorable in history would include Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar and Claiborne Pell.
Others that would stand out for their long range influence would include Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, John Stennis, Richard Russell, Russell Long, and James Eastland, but all are seen as primarily negative forces holding back progress on civil rights.
Others with more positive significance but not seen as “stars” would include Daniel Inouye, Carl Hayden, Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Warren Magnuson.
Others that are seen as noteworthy but not likely to be remembered much in the long run of history would include Ted Stevens, Ernest Hollings, Thad Cochran, and Pete Domenici.
The remaining five are all forgettable Senators, dealing with their states’ constituent needs, but having little impact beyond that including Francis Warren, Kenneth McKellar, Milton Young, Ellison Smith, and Allen Ellender.
Also, three from the list of 25 are from Mississippi (Stennis, Eastland, Cochran); three from South Carolina (Thurmond, Hollings, Smith); and two from Louisiana (Long, Ellender).
Additionally, states with small populations and only one Congressman, have Senators on the list, including Vermont (Leahy); Alaska (Stevens); Wyoming (Warren); Delaware (Biden); and North Dakota (Young).
Only two “larger” populated states have a Senator on the list, including Massachusetts (Kennedy) and Michigan (Levin)
Finally, only 8 Senators have served 40 or more years, in order as follows: Robert Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Strom Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Carl Hayden, John Stennis, Patrick Leahy (still serving), and Ted Stevens, with only Byrd serving more than 50 years!