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Wilbur Mills's Death

Wilbur Mills

The life and death of Wilbur Mills:

Even though they may have never heard of him, most Social Security recipients love this guy because he's responsible for their favorite COLA – Cost of Living Adjustments to retiree benefits. He did it while a powerful member of Congress who also made a futile bid for the White House. But all of that power and prestige was ultimately stripped away, when he got involved with a dancer at a D.C. area strip club.

Wilbur Daigh Mills was born in Kensett, Arkansas to Ardra and Abbie Mills. His father was a local school officials and led the state's first school to integrate. Young Wilbur attended the local schools but graduated high school in the White County seat of Searcy. He went on to Hendrix College and studied constitutional law at Harvard Law School.

After passing the Arkansas Bar Exam in 1933, Wilbur served as a county judge and in 1939, was elected to Congress. He held that seat until 1977 – one of the longest serving officials ever from his home state.

In that time, he was head of the powerful House Ways & Means tax-writing committee for 17 years from 1958 to 1974…

Wilbur Mills, Time Magazine

…and he played a major role in the creation of the Medicare program and worked, but didn't succeed at, establishing a national health care program.

When Mills ran for President in 1972…

Wilbur Mills presidential campaign poster

…he came up with his idea to boost Social Security benefits based on the inflation rate. But his candidacy for the White House never caught fire, although his career crashed and burned after he met this stripper…

Stripper Fanne Foxe

…Fanne Foxe, in 1974.

He's buried in his boyhood town at the Kensett Cemetery.

Wilbur Mills grave

For more information, please view Wilbur Mills' scandal.