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William Pat Jennings (August 20, 1919 – August 2, 1994) was a United States Representative from Virginia.

W. Pat Jennings
W. Pat Jennings.jpg
28th Clerk of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 10, 1967 – November 15, 1975
Preceded byRalph R. Roberts
Succeeded byEdmund L. Henshaw, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1967
Preceded byWilliam C. Wampler
Succeeded byWilliam C. Wampler
Personal details
William Pat Jennings

(1919-08-20)August 20, 1919
Smyth, Virginia, U.S.
DiedAugust 2, 1994(1994-08-02) (aged 74)
Marion, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materVirginia Tech (B.S.)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1941–1946
Battles/warsWorld War II


Jennings was born on a farm in Camp in Smyth County, Virginia. He earned a B.S. degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, 1941. He entered the United States Army in July 1941 during World War II. He served in the United States for two years and in the European Theater of Operations for two and a half years with the Twenty-ninth Infantry as platoon leader, company commander, and operations officer. He was also an instructor in ROTC at the University of Illinois. He was discharged as a major in May 1946.

Jennings owned an automobile and farm implement business in Marion, Virginia, from 1946 until his death. He also participated in politics and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1968. He was elected sheriff of Smyth County, Virginia in 1947, reelected in 1951, and served until 1954. He was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fourth Congress and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1967), during which time he was a signatory to the 1956 Southern Manifesto that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1966 to the Ninetieth Congress. In 1966, journalist Drew Pearson reported that Jennings was one of a group of Congressman who had received the "Statesman of the Republic" award from Liberty Lobby for his "right-wing activities".[1] He was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives for the Ninetieth Congress, and reelected to the four succeeding Congresses, and served from January 10, 1967, until his resignation November 15, 1975. He died in Marion, Virginia in 1994, as the result of a tractor accident.[2]


  • United States Congress. "W. Pat Jennings (id: J000098)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  •   Media related to W. Pat Jennings at Wikimedia Commons
  1. ^ Pearson, Drew (November 2, 1966). "Judge Rules Against Liberty Lobby". The Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. p. 6. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  2. ^ W. Pat Jennings, 74; Was in U.S. House. Associated Press via New York Times (1994)
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William C. Wampler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
William C. Wampler
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ralph R. Roberts
Clerk of the United States House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr.