Any non-natural-born senators?

We all know that in order to become President of the US, one must be a “natural-born citizen” thereof. However, this requirement does not apply to other elected folks, like Senators and Representatives. Just recently, an Indian-born Sikh declared his candidacy for the open senate seat in Illinois, and of course you’ve heard about Jerry Springer (who was born in London) running in Ohio.

Right now, there aren’t any foreign-born Senators (John McCain is close, but he was born in the Canal Zone to American parents, and is thus natural-born). My question is, have there ever been? I’m less interested in the borderline cases (immigrated as a toddler, etc), although if there are any good examples of those I’d like to hear them too.

How 'bout Sens. Hiram Fong, Daniel Inouye, Spark Matsunaga, and Daniel Akaka? All born in Hawaii, before it became a state…

Yeah, yeah…not in the spirit of the OP, but still…

People born in US territories are natural-born US citizens. A lot (most?) of the Presidents from the early-to-mid 19th-century could not have been President if it were not so…

LARRAZOLO, Octaviano Ambrosio, a Senator from New Mexico; born in El Valle de San Bartolo (now Allende), State of Chihuahua, Mexico, December 7, 1859; moved to Tucson, Az., in 1870 as a protege of the bishop of Arizona.

SHIELDS, James, a Senator from Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri; born in Altmore, County Tyrone, Ireland, in either 1806 or 1810; attended a hedge school, private schools, and pursued classical studies; immigrated to the United States about 1826.

This guy is more interesting for a different reason. He represented three different states in the Senate. Is there anyone else like that?


ARMSTRONG, David Hartley, a Senator from Missouri; born in Nova Scotia, Canada, October 21, 1812.

YULEE, David Levy, a Delegate and a Senator from Florida; born David Levy in St. Thomas, West Indies, June 12, 1810; at the age of nine was sent to the United States to Norfolk, Va. to attend a private school.

HAUGHEY, Thomas, a Representative from Alabama; born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1826; received a limited education; immigrated to the United States with his father, who settled in New York City; moved to Jefferson County, Ala., in 1841.

HAUGEN, Nils Pederson, a Representative from Wisconsin; born in Modum, Norway, March 9, 1849; immigrated to the United States in 1854 with his parents

Carl Schurz, I think, too.


Well, I don’t think Orrin Hatch and Arlen Spector are natural born. The came out from under rocks.

Though slightly peripheral to the question, I’ll throw in Tom Lantos, Democrat Congressman, 12th District California, who was born in Hungary and is the only Holocaust survivor (rescued by Raoul Wallenberg, apparantly) elected to Congress.

I always thought Dick Gephart was created in a lab…

No. Shields is the only person to represent more than one state in the Senate, and he represented three!. His name lives on in Chicago via a street name, which baseball fans will recognize as forming part of the address of the two Comiskey Parks (35th and Shields).

A few years ago Bill Brock, who had been a Senator from Tennessee, won the Republican nomination for a seat in Maryland, but he was defeated in the general election.

And James Buckley (William F.'s brother) was the U.S. Senator from New York from 1970-76, then ran unsuccessfully a few years later in Connecticut.

I immediately thought of S.I Hayakawa… thinking he might have been born in Japan. Turns out he was born in Canada, and attended college in Canada… so I’m not sure when he moved to the US, but it’s likely he was at least 20.

Another Canadian …

COUZENS, James, a Senator from Michigan [served 1922-1936]; born in Chatham, Province of Ontario, Canada, August 26, 1872; attended the public schools of Chatham; moved to Detroit, Mich., in 1890.

And of course George Washington was not born in the US, either.

Yeah, but George Washington was never a Senator. :smiley:

Wow, awesome. Hey Walloon, are you pulling these from some website somewhere? Where?

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
And using Google with phrases like “foreign-born” and “Congress”.

Oh, duh. I kept searching on “natural-born” (looking for counterexamples), and that was just popping up pages about Presidents. :slight_smile: