Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr. (February 11, 1921 – May 23, 2006) was an American politician who was a four-term United States Senator (1971–1993) from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for vice president in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served as the 69th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton. Born in Mission, Texas, Bentsen graduated from the University of Texas School of Law before serving in the Air Force during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Europe. After the war, he won election to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1948 to 1955. He defeated incumbent Senator Ralph Yarborough in the 1970 Democratic Senatorial primary and won the general election against George H. W. Bush. He was reelected in 1976, 1982, and 1988, and served as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1987 to 1993. In the Senate, he helped win passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and played a role in the creation of the individual retirement account. Bentsen sought the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination but was unable to organize an effective national campaign. Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis chose Bentsen as his running mate in the 1988 presidential election, while the Republicans nominated Vice President George H. W. Bush and Senator Dan Quayle.
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