TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Many people across the Wabash Valley are feeling the loss of a great Hoosier.
People are reflecting on the life of the former U.S. Senator and major political force Birch Bayh.
“Senator Birch Bayh served the people of Indiana with distinction through his lifetime of service in the Armed Forces, the General Assembly, and the U.S. Senate. Karen and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to Evan, Susan, and the entire Bayh family as they mourn the passing of this good man and great Hoosier Statesman.” - Vice President Mike Pence.
Senator Bayh left a legacy in the Wabash Valley.
He also changed lives with groundbreaking legislation for people across the country.
The Senator died on Thursday at the age of 91.
If you drive by the campus of Indiana State University, you'll see the Bayh College of Education.
It is a building named for the entire Bayh family.
He had a major impact on the Terre Haute community, but what you may not know is Birch Bayh authored major legislation that changed the lives of many across the country.
He wrote several constitutional amendments, but two of them stand out or many.
One of them gave 18-year-olds the right to vote.
He also wrote legislation allowing for equal educational rights for women, which opened the door for equal opportunities for women at universities across the country.
We spoke with two local people who both worked on Senator Bayh's campaigns.
They described him as one of the most productive U.S. Senators in American history.
"He felt if you were old enough to fight in the Vietnam War...you're old enough to vote," Bayh's former press secretary, Fred Nation said.
"He was an extremely, extremely, important figure in the political world, and we've just lost a great American," Vicki Weger, who worked on Bayh's campaign told us.