Vinson was born in Baldwin County in 1883. In 1914 he became the youngest member of Congress and served over 50 years, 25 consecutive terms. Vinson became an expert on military affairs and his long years chairing naval and military committees made him one of the country’s most respected voices on national security and earned him the nickname “the admiral.”
Vinson’s shrewd political instincts and mastery of detail enabled him to steer bills through Congress that strengthened sea and air power and prepared America for World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific. When his name came up as a possible Secretary of Defense, he replied, “I’d rather run the Pentagon from here.”
The nuclear-powered carrier Carl Vinson honors the Father of the Two-Ocean Navy who passed Sam Rayburn as the longest serving member ever on July 16, 1963, Today in Georgia History.
President Lyndon Johnson awarded Vinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Special Distinction in 1964 -- the highest award the President can give to a civilian.