Lowell Weicker would become one of the most prominent names in the political history of Connecticut. Weicker rose to prominence as a member of the Republican party. He also later achieved great success as a third-party candidate. Eventually, he identified personally as an Independent.

Weicker's so-called maverick style regularly drew the ire of many of his colleagues. But his work as a United States Senate Watergate Committee member would ultimately garner near-universal praise.

Died on June 28, 2023

Lowell Weicker has passed away, his family confirmed.

He was 92. An exact cause of death was not immediately released to the public. But Weicker was evidently in Middletown in central Connecticut when he died.

Political figures on both sides of the spectrum were quick to acknowledge Weicker's death and give condolences. Democrats included current Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, former Governor Dannel Malloy and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy. Among Republicans have been State Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly.

Weicker began his political career with the Connecticut House of Representatives. He was a member of the body from 1963 to 1969. During much of that time, he was also the first selectman of Greenwich, Connecticut, in the New York City region.

In 1968, Weicker won a seat in the United States House of Representatives from the 4th District of Connecticut. Two years later, the Republican Weicker was elected to the U.S. Senate in a three-way race. Incumbent Thomas J. Dodd had been criticized for the corrupt use of campaign funds. Dodd lost the Democratic nomination to academician Joseph Duffey.

Ultimately, Duffey finished ahead of Dodd, but it wasn't enough to beat Weicker.

Stood against Nixon

Lowell Weicker would be chosen as one of the seven members of the Senate Watergate Committee. The Committee was tasked with investigating the notorious 1972 break-in at the Watergate complex.

Weicker became the first member of his party in the Senate to call for President Richard Nixon to resign.

Others would later join him in wanting their fellow Republicans to leave office. Nixon eventually did resign under the imminent threat of impeachment.

Weicker would be re-elected to the Senate twice. Along the way, he became the Senate Committee on Small Business chairman. He also made a short play for the 1980 Republican Presidential nomination.

In 1988, Weicker was narrowly defeated for re-election by Democratic State Attorney General Joe Lieberman. Lieberman later chaired what is now the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He also nearly became the vice president of the United States before leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an Independent.

Two years later, Weicker prevailed in a three-person contest to be the next governor of Connecticut.

He did it as a member of a third party. Weicker was the founder of A Connecticut Party, with its name designed to appear first alphabetically on state ballots. He came out on top over a pair of U.S. representatives, Republican John G. Rowland and Democrat Bruce Morrison.

Weicker drew the scorn of many for implementing a state income tax. He pointedly said he wouldn't do so in the gubernatorial campaign. Weicker chose not to run for re-election in 1994. However, he drew more controversy in the waning days of his term with his dismissal of the state's motor vehicles commissioner.

Lieutenant Governor Eunice Groark carried the banner for A Connecticut Party that year. She finished in a distant third place of the four viable contenders.

Behind Rowland, again, the Republican nominee and Democratic State Comptroller Bill Curry. But ahead of Independent Tom Scott, who'd previously been a Republican member of the State Senate. A few years later, A Connecticut Party disbanded.

Was born in France

Lowell Weicker was born to American parents in Paris, France. His grandfather, Theodore, was a German immigrant. Theodore Weicker helped create what is now the pharmaceutical juggernaut Bristol Myers Squibb.

The younger Weicker graduated from high school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After receiving a bachelor's degree from Yale University, he entered the United States Army. In the Army, he reached the rank of first lieutenant.

Weicker also obtained a degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Between his time in the Senate and as governor, Weicker was a faculty member at the George Washington University Law School. After his gubernatorial tenure, he joined the boards of directors of Compuware and the World Wrestling Federation.