|Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations|
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
|Preceded by||Richard Lugar|
|Succeeded by||Jesse Helms|
|Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration|
January 3, 1978 – January 3, 1981
|Preceded by||Howard Cannon|
|Succeeded by||Charles Mathias|
| United States Senator|
from Rhode Island
January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Theodore Francis Green|
|Succeeded by||Jack Reed|
|Born|| Claiborne de Borda Pell|
November 22, 1918
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died|| January 1, 2009Angal) (aged |
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Children||Christopher Pell, Dallas Pell Yates, Julia Pell (deceased), Herbert Pell III (deceased)|
|Alma mater||Princeton University (A.B.), Columbia University (M.A.)|
|Profession||United States Senator, Diplomat, United States Coast Guard officer|
|Signature||Claiborne Pell's signature|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Coast Guard, United States Coast Guard Reserve|
|Years of service||1941-1945 (active) 1945-1978 (reserve)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Claiborne de Borda Pell (November 22, 1918 – January 1, 2009) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island, serving six terms from 1961 to 1997, and was best known as the sponsor of the Pell Grant, which provides financial aid funding to U.S. college students. A Democrat, he was that state's longest serving senator.
Pell attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island and received an A.B. in history from Princeton University in 1940. While at Princeton, he was a member of Colonial Club and played on the rugby team.
Pell enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1941, four months before Pearl Harbor. He served as a ship's cook, and eventually earned a commission. During the war he served on North Atlantic convoy duty and in Sicily and Italy. He received the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European Campaign Medal and World War Two Victory Medal for his service during the Second World War. After the war he remained in the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and eventually retired with the rank of Captain.
From 1945 to 1952, he served in the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Washington, D.C. He was fluent in French, Italian, and Portuguese. In 1946 Pell received an M.A. in history from Columbia University.
Pell was a participant in the 1945 San Francisco conference that drafted the United Nations charter.
In 1960, Pell won the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green after defeating, as an unendorsed outside candidate, two former Governors, Dennis J. Roberts and former U.S. Senator J. Howard McGrath in the Democratic primary.
Pell was largely responsible for the creation of Pell Grants in 1973, originally known as "Basic Educational Opportunity Grants". The Pell Grants provide financial aid funds to U.S. college students. Pell grants initially provided for grants for prisoners because Pell understood that education while incarcerated resulted in a 65% drop in recidivism rates and that resulted in a safer public. Congress later removed that provision even though no one outside was ever denied a grant because of those given to prisoners. For many years there was more money available than was applied for.
He was the main sponsor of the bill that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was active as an advocate for mass transportation initiatives and domestic legislation facilitating and conforming to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
He served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1987-1994.
In 'The Washington Pay-Off; An Insider's View of Corruption in Government' (Copyright 1972; Lyle Stuart, Inc.), author and former lobbyist Robert N. Winter-Berger, wrote about Senator Pell's arrest, during a raid on a New York gay bar, in the early 1960s. In 1993, during the bitter confirmation battle over Roberta Achtenberg, a lesbian, as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Pell stated that his daughter was a lesbian, and that he hoped that it would not be a barrier to federal employment for her; Achtenberg became the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Upon his retirement from the Senate, Rhode Island's Newport Bridge was redesignated the "Claiborne Pell Bridge" and the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy was established at Salve Regina University, in Newport, Rhode Island, Pell's home town.
Senator Pell also received an Honorary Doctorate from Johnson & Wales University in 1979.
Interest in the paranormal
According to Uri Geller, Pell in the late 1980s took an active interest into Geller's claims of remote viewing. On Geller's personal website he states that he was called by Pell and asked to describe a drawing he was looking at that moment. When Geller answered "a dagger with an ivory handle", Pell replied that he had gotten it correct and he was now convinced that Geller was genuine. Gueller reports that Pell was one of the most "forward-looking" and "open-minded people" he had ever met who was very interested in using psychic powers for peaceful means.
In an 2009 interview with James Randi, he discusses his experience with Senator Pell who asked him to try and duplicate one of Geller's remote viewing feats. The Senator upon seeing that Randi's drawing matched his own drawing yelled, "I know a trick when I see one and that was not a trick...you have the power!" 
Family and later years
Claiborne de Borda Pell was the son of former Congressman Herbert Claiborne Pell, Jr.. He was the great-great-grandson of former Congressman John Francis Hamtramck Claiborne, great-great-grandnephew of former Senator and Vice President of the United States George Mifflin Dallas and great-great-great-grandnephew of former Senator and Congressman William Charles Cole Claiborne and of former Congressman Nathaniel Herbert Claiborne. He was also a direct descendant of mathematician John Pell. Pell was one of the heirs to what started out as the Lorillard tobacco fortune, although the family has been out of the Lorillard firm for generations.
Pell married the former Nuala O'Donnell, great-granddaughter of George Huntington Hartford, and, as such, one of the heirs to the A&P fortune. They had four children: Herbert Claiborne Pell III ("Bertie"), Christopher Thomas Hartford Pell ("Toby"), N. Dallas, and Julia Lorillard Wampage Pell.
Although from a wealthy background, Pell was renowned in Rhode Island for his lack of pretension and his frugality.
At his funeral, one grandson recalled that his grandfather "jogged in actual business suits that had been reluctantly retired" and "drove a Chrysler LeBaron convertible, which was outfitted with tattered red upholstery, a roof held together with duct tape...when it finally fell apart, he replaced it with a Dodge Spirit, which he had purchased used from Thrifty Rental Cars."
His grandson continued, "When I was about twelve, my father owned an eight foot orange Zodiac, with flaky wooden floorboards and a six horsepower engine. My father would let me take it out on my own... On several occasions my grandfather would volunteer to join me. He would arrive at the dock, sit down on the wooden floorboards, wearing, of course, a full suit. Together we'd knife thru the moored boats and wave at passing boaters. Inevitably someone would recognize him, usually it would be a guy standing about ten feet above us in a sixty-foot SeaRay or a large sailboat, pointing and remarking, "Hey, it's Senator Pell down there. How you doing, Senator?" Grandpa would smile, wave back, happy as a clam in the smallest boat in the harbor, dressed as a gentleman, spending time with his family."
|This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2009)|
- ^ Honan, William H., "Claiborne Pell, Ex-Senator, Dies at 90", The New York Times, January 2, 2009. Retrieved on April 1, 2010.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Former R.I. Senator Claiborne Pell, 90, Washington Post, January 2, 2009
- ^ http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/Claiborne_Pell.asp
- ^ The White House - Office of the Press Secretary
- ^ "Mind over Missile?." urigeller.com: unknown date. URL accessed on 2011-03-18.
- ^ "James Randi discusses Senator Claiborne Pell's interest in Uri Geller." YouTube: 2009-03-10. URL accessed on 2011-03-18.
- ^ Claiborne Pell at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- ^ Claiborne Pell remembered, Providence Journal, January 6, 2009
- ^ Herbert Pell obituary, New York Times, September 26, 1999
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Pell Grandson eulogizes his grandfather(video), Boston.com, January 5, 2009
- ^ Miller, G. Wayne (April 10, 2005). "A remarkable life." Providence Journal. URL accessed on 2007-06-27.
- ^ Honan, William H., "Claiborne Pell, Ex-Senator, Dies at 90", New York Times, January 1, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-01.
- Claiborne Pell at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Pell Center at Salve Regina University
- AP Obituary in The Providence Journal
|United States Senate|
Theodore Francis Green
| United States Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
Served alongside: John O. Pastore, John H. Chafee
| Succeeded by|
|Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee
| Succeeded by|
|Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
| Succeeded by|
Stanton • Bradford • R. Greene • Ellery • Fenner • Mathewson • Howell • Burrill • Knight • Simmons • Clarke • Allen • Anthony • Sheffield • Chace • Dixon III • Wetmore • Colt • Metcalf • Green • Pell • Reed
Brooks • Hayden • Jenner • Green • Hennings • Mansfield • Jordan • Cannon • Pell • Mathias • Ford • Stevens • Warner • McConnell • Dodd • McConnell • Dodd • Lott • Feinstein • Schumer