Everett Dirksen was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. As Senate Minority Leader from 1959 to 1969, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s.
He helped write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, both landmark pieces of legislation during the Civil Rights Movement. He was also one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of the Vietnam War and was known as “The Wizard of Ooze” because of his flamboyant oratorical style.