Retired member of the U.S. Senate
“The Importance of Public Service and Civic Engagement”
Larry L. Pressler, a native of Humboldt, South Dakota, served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1975–79) and three terms in the U.S. Senate (1979–97), where he was chairman of the Commerce Committee. Pressler was the first Vietnam veteran to be elected to the Senate. He is noted for being the only one of the nine known members of Congress approached to flatly refuse to take a bribe from undercover FBI agents and then to report the bribe attempt to the FBI during the Abscam investigations. Pressler has lectured at more than twenty universities in China, India, and the U.S., and has been granted two lifetime Fulbright teaching awards. A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Oxford University, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Harvard Law School, in April 2015, Pressler was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His confirmation was performed by his fellow Rhodes Scholar Clayton Christensen and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
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