Birch Bayh, author of Title IX legislation, dies at 91

Birch Bayh, a former U.S. senator from Indiana who spurred a number of notable legislation, died Thursday of pneumonia at his home in Easton, Md at the age of 91 according to his obituary.

Birch Bayh

Bayh, a liberal Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981, was the chief author of federal Title IX legislation, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that is federally funded.

He also authored the 25th and 26th constitutional amendments, which provided the procedures for replacing the president and vice-president and lowered the voting age to 18.

“Birch Bayh was driven by a belief in what we could accomplish given equal opportunity,” the Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody said in a press release. “His legacy endures every day on college campuses. It endures in the form of equal opportunity, the right to vote and that all Americans deserve justice.”

Bayh left a family legacy as well with his son, Evan Bayh, who is a former two-term U.S. senator and Indiana Governor.

Bayh, a farmer and lawyer, served as the speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives before being elected as a U.S. congressman. He also ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976.

He also pushed for legislation that would have abolished the Electoral College and allowed for presidents to be elected by a direct popular vote.

“Though Birch Bayh left his indelible mark on our Constitution, our universities, and the history of the United States Senate, he was first and always a Hoosier,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said in a statement. “Maureen and I are praying for the Bayh family in this difficult time.”