James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902—June 26, 2003) served 48 years as United States Senator from South Carolina. He was Governor of South Carolina from 1947-1951 and ran for President in 1948 as the States Rights Democratic Party candidate. Thurmond was elected to the U.S. Senate via a write-in campaign in 1954 and served until 2003, first as a Democrat, and after 1964 as a Republican.
Thurmond still holds the record as the longest-serving member of Congress to serve exclusively in the Senate. He was also the longest-serving Republican member of Congress in U.S. history.