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Biographical Characteristics of Members of the United States Congress, 1789-1979 (ICPSR 7428)

Principal Investigator(s): McKibbin, Carroll R.


This study provides background information as well as data on congressional careers and pre- and post-Congress political office-holding for all members of the First through Ninety-sixth Congresses of the United States. Background information includes state of birth, year of birth, relatives also serving in Congress, military service, private or public secondary education, college attended, major occupation, and longest held party affiliation. Office-holding variables document the last office held prior to and first office held immediately after congressional service at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels, with judicial offices treated separately. Data on the congressional career itself include the year first elected to Congress, number of years served in each chamber, and the reason for leaving Congress. The data for the period from 1789 to 1960 were collected by Carroll R. McKibbin, University of Nebraska. The data from 1961 to 1979 were prepared by ICPSR staff.

Series: United States Congressional Biographical Data Series

Access Notes

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Study Description


McKibbin, Carroll R. BIOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, 1789-1979. Compiled by Carroll R. McKibbin, University of Nebraska. 3rd ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1992. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07428.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07428.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    biographical data, career history, eighteenth century, historical data, legislative bodies, legislators, nineteenth century, political elites, public officials, twentieth century, United States Congress, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1789--1979

Universe:    All members of the First through Ninety-fifth United States Congresses and members of the Ninety-sixth Congress, first session.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data


Data Source:


Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03

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