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Trent Lott Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Trent Lott, former Republican senator from Mississippi.


Birth date: October 9, 1941

Birth place: Grenada, Mississippi

Birth name: Chester Trent Lott

Father: Chester Paul Lott, shipyard worker

Mother: Iona (Watson) Lott, schoolteacher

Marriage: Patricia (Thompson) Lott (1964-present)

Children: Chester and Tyler

Education: University of Mississippi, B.S., 1963; University of Mississippi (Oxford), J.D., 1967

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts

The Lott family home in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Lott was originally a member of the Democratic Party but switched on the eve of his first campaign in 1972.


1967 – Passes the Mississippi Bar and joins the law firm Bryan & Gordon as an associate.

1968-1972 – Moves to Washington to become an aide to Mississippi Congressman William M. Colmer.

1972 – Lott is elected to Colmer’s seat after Colmer decides not to run for reelection.

May 1974 – Youngest member of the House Judiciary Committee when it holds hearings to decide whether there is enough evidence against President Richard Nixon to call for his impeachment. Lott votes against Nixon’s impeachment.

1981-1989 – Is elected as the House minority whip.

1988 – Is elected to the US Senate.

1994 – Is elected Senate majority whip, the first person to be elected to the position of whip in both the House and Senate.

1995-1996 – Is elected Republican party whip.

1996-2001; 2002 – Is elected Senate majority leader.

December 5, 2002 – At a function honoring outgoing Sen. Strom Thurmond, Lott says, in regards to his state of Mississippi voting for Thurmond in the 1948 presidential election, “We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years either.”

December 10, 2002 – Lott appears on Black Entertainment Television and apologizes for his December 5 remarks.

December 12, 2002 – President George W. Bush rebukes Lott for his December 5 comments, saying any suggestion that segregation was acceptable is “offensive and it is wrong.” The Congressional Black Caucus releases a statement, calling for a “formal censure of Sen. Lott’s racist remarks.”

December 20, 2002 – Lott steps down as incoming Senate majority leader, saying “In the interest of pursuing the best possible agenda for the future of our country, I will not seek to remain as majority leader of the United States Senate for the 108th Congress, effective January 6, 2003. To all those who offered me their friendship, support and prayers, I will be eternally grateful. I will continue to serve the people of Mississippi in the United States Senate.”

August 2005 – Lott’s memoir “Herding Cats: A Life in Politics” is published.

November 7, 2006 – Is elected to a six-year term.

November 15, 2006 – Is elected Senate minority whip.

November 26, 2007 – Announces he will resign his Senate seat by the end of the year. Officially resigns on December 18.

January 5, 2008 – Announces he will open a lobbying firm with former Sen. John Breaux and both of their sons.

July 2010 – The Breaux-Lott Leadership Group is purchased by lobbying firm Patton Boggs. Patton Boggs is later renamed Squire Patton Boggs.

October 1, 2011 – Lott becomes an independent director of Camgian Microsystems Corporation.

April 20, 2012 – Lobbying documents indicate the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group is being paid to lobby in support of the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty. As a senator, Lott opposed it, saying it would create a “UN on steroids.”

August 8, 2013 – Is hospitalized for a ruptured appendix.

July 15, 2018 – Lott appears on comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s series “Who Is America.” In the segment, Lott seems to endorse a program that arms preschoolers.

October 23, 2019 – Co-authors an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, along with former Sen. Tom Daschle, titled “The Senate can hold a fair impeachment trial. We did it in 1999.”

June 15, 2020Lott joins lobbying firm Crossroads Strategies a week after being fired from Squire Patton Boggs.

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