Slade Gorton achieved the unique distinction of having held both U.S. Senate seats from one state. In this case, it was the State of Washington where he won his first Senate general election in a legendary fashion.

Gorton had a long career in public service. One filled with both highs and lows. He would garner a reputation as being analytical, intelligent, and bipartisan. On August 19, Gorton passed away in Seattle.

Gorton was a native of Illinois

Gorton, full name Thomas Slade Gorton III, was born in Chicago. According to The Tacoma News Tribune, he was raised in nearby Evanston.

His family had a history in the seafood industry.

He would serve in the U.S. Army before graduation from Dartmouth College. Gorton also graduated from Columbia Law School. In 1953, Gorton returned to the U.S. military with the Air Force. Initially on regular duty and later with the Air Force Reserve. Gorton ultimately would retire with the rank of colonel.

Along the way, he settled in Seattle and began practicing law. In 1958, he married Sally Clark, who had been a reporter with The Seattle Times. They would have three children before she passed away in 2013.

Beginning in 1958, Gorton was a member of the Washington House of Representatives. A Republican, he served as the majority leader from 1967 to 1969.

That year, he became the state's attorney general. He would hold the position for more than a decade.

Was elected to the U.S. Senate in an upset win

Gorton won a U.S. Senate seat for the first time in 1980. But as indicated by Politico, this win was a little bit different from many others. The Democratic incumbent he took down was Warren Magnuson.

Magnuson had been in Congress for over 40 years. He had chaired the Senate Commerce Committee for more than 20 years. At the time of the election, he was the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Magnuson was also the Senate's president pro tempore, putting him third in the line of succession for the U.S. Presidency.

In other words, Magnuson was one of the most powerful people in the country.

In 1986, however, Gorton was defeated for re-election by Democrat Brock Adams. Adams had previously been a powerful U.S. representative. Later, he was U.S. secretary of transportation under President Jimmy Carter. Adams was later forced to retire amid allegations of violent criminal activity.

Gorton won Washington's other U.S. Senate seat in 1988. He defeated Democratic U.S. representative Mike Lowry, who later became the governor of Washington. Lowry's political career also came to an end amid allegations similar to those against Brock Adams.

In 1994, Gorton won re-election in a year of many Republican victories. But he lost in 2000 to Democrat Maria Cantwell, a former U.S. representative. Gorton was later a member of the 9/11 Commission.