U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi is the Senate's 16th Majority Leader, the first Mississippian ever to hold the Senate's top leadership post. His elevation to Majority Leader came on Wednesday, June 12, 1996, 7 1/2 years following his election to the Senate.
Lott began his political career in 1968 as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Representative William Colmer, D-Mississippi. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972 and served until 1988 when he was elected to the Senate. He was re-elected to a second term in 1994 and a third term in 2000.
In 1979, Lott was elected Chairman of the House Republican Research Committee, the fifth ranking Republican leadership position in the House. In 1980 he was elected Republican Whip, the second ranking Republican leadership position. The first Southerner to be elected to that position, he was re-elected to the post three times.
In 1995, Lott was elected Senate Majority Whip. He is the first person to be elected to the position of Whip in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Lott was born October 9, 1941, in Grenada County, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper farmer turned shipyard worker and a schoolteacher. He received his Bachelor of Science in Public Administration degree in 1963 and his Juris Doctorate in 1967 from the University of Mississippi in Oxford.