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Samuel Stratton redirects here. For the MIT President, see Samuel Wesley Stratton. For the Middleburymarker President, see Samuel Somerville Stratton.

Samuel Studdiford Stratton (September 27, 1916September 13, 1990) was a U.S. Representative, representing New Yorkmarker for almost 30 years from 1959 to 1989.

Early life

Stratton was born in Yonkers, New Yorkmarker and his family moved to Schenectady, New Yorkmarker while he was an infant. He attended school in Schenectady, Rochester, New Yorkmarker, and Blair Academymarker in New Jerseymarker. He graduated from the University of Rochestermarker in 1937, Haverford Collegemarker, Pennsylvaniamarker in 1938 and Harvard Universitymarker in 1940. Stratton spent 1940 to 1942 as executive secretary to Massachusettsmarker Congressman Thomas H. Eliot.


In mid-1942, Stratton joined the United States Naval Reserve. He served as ensign in the South West Pacific Area as a combat intelligence officer on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur. Twice awarded the Bronze Star with a Valor device, Stratton interrogated Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was later executed for his part in the Manila massacre.


After World War II, Stratton returned to Schenectady and was elected to the city council in 1949. During the Korean War, Stratton was recalled to active duty, serving as an instructor in Washington, D.C.marker from 1951 to 1953, and attaining the rank of captain. Stratton again returned to Schenectady and was re-elected to the city council from 1953 to 1956. In 1956, he was elected mayor of Schenectady as a Conservative Democrat.

In 1958, Stratton was elected to the U.S. Congress. He made a name for himself in multiple elections by appealing to conservative voters and supporting defense spending in his district, which included General Electric and the Watervliet Arsenalmarker. Stratton was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in 1964, hoping to challenge incumbent Kenneth Keating, but he was defeated by Robert F. Kennedy, who would go on to win the election. Stratton was reelected to the House fourteen times before finally bowing out of public life at age 72. According to Stratton's 1990 obituary in the New York Times, he served as a Democrat in Congress and was a member of the Armed Services Committee.[232067]

Stratton lived in Potomac, Marylandmarker after his retirement until his death in Rockville, Marylandmarker at age 73. After his death, both the Air National Guard base in Schenectady and the Veterans Administrationmarker hospital in Albany, New Yorkmarker were named in his honor. Samuel Stratton was buried in Arlington National Cemeterymarker.

His son, Brian U. Stratton, was elected mayor of Schenectady in 2003. With the expected retirement of the elder Stratton's successor in Congress, Michael McNulty there was speculation the younger Stratton would run for his father's old House seat in the 2008 election, but he chose to remain mayor.

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