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Overton Brooks Biography
Thomas Overton Brooks (December 21, 1897 - September 16, 1961) was a Democratic representative from Louisiana 1937-1961, chairman of the House Science and Astronautics Committee.

He was born near Baton Rouge, served as an enlisted man in the 6th Field Artillery, 1st Division in World War I, then received a law degree from Louisiana State University, and set up a practice in Shreveport, Louisiana.

He served as a United States Commissioner from 1925 to 1935.

He was in the House Armed Services Committee from 1947 to 1958, then became the first chairman of the newly-formed House Space Committee (later Science and Astronautics), reportedly because his seniority entitled him to a more important post on Armed Services than he was considered capable of handling, and was reappointed in 1961. Although little can be credited to his chairmanship, he was noted for urging the development of a civil rather than military space program, and on May 4, 1961 his committee sent a memo to Lyndon B. Johnson on this subject. (Kennedy's famous speech which prompted the Apollo program came just a few weeks later.)

He had a heart attack and died in office, at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and is buried at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.

The Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport was named in his honor.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Overton Brooks.