Carl Vinson was sworn in as the youngest member of Congress in 1914 and soon became a hard working fixture. Vinson would serve a record twenty-five consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a powerful voice in shaping national defense policy.
As World War II loomed, Vinson authored bills strengthening the navy and applying aircraft in national defense. The bills would turn out to be prophetic when the US became involved in the global war. His bills are credited with helping the United States build war ships quickly after the devastation of Pearl Harbor.
Vinson once said, "The most expensive thing in the world is a cheap Army and Navy," and he did not waver in his commitment to a strong defense during the prolonged Cold War. He guided his bills through Congress and past contentious presidents, a mark of his political prowess. Many mistook him for a country bumpkin, but Vinson possessed shrewd political instincts and masterful attention to detail that helped him steer critical legislation through Congress.