John Porter East

John Porter East ( born May 5, 1931 in Springfield, Illinois, † June 29, 1986 in Greenville, North Carolina ) was an American politician who represented the state of North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.


Early life

John Porter East graduated after attending public schools, including the Earlham College in Richmond (Indiana ), which, in the 1959 he made ​​his final University of Illinois law degree. He received further diplomas in 1962 and 1964 at the University of Florida.

His military service was doing East 1953-1955 in the United States Marine Corps. He was born in 1955, at the age of 24 years, surprised with the diagnosis that he was so ill with poliomyelitis polio, and thus had to rely for the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Despite his disability East went his way, and began to practice as a lawyer in Naples. At the same time he took over from 1964 to 1980 he taught at a teacher of political science at East Carolina University.

Political career

Already in 1966 a candidate member of the Republican Party as East for a seat in the House of Representatives of the United States, but without success. Only in 1980, with the political influence of his party colleague and U.S. President Ronald Reagan, he managed to get elected as the successor of Robert Burren Morgan for the state of North Carolina in the Senate.

During his tenure East was considered a conservative who strongly made ​​, inter alia, for a ban on abortions. At the same time, however, he made a reform that the Capitol was disabled adapted and now made ​​easily accessible for wheelchair users. East was after John C. Stennis from Mississippi only the second U.S. senator who had to use a wheelchair.


In the summer of 1986, East became ill with cancer, a further blow with which the Senator was not ready. On Friday, June 27, he still met in Washington DC with Antonin Scalia, the nominees for the office of judge of the Supreme Court, and drove the next day on his estate in Greenville.

When John Petree, Easts personal chauffeur and consultants should pick him up as agreed, and on Sunday, he made a startling discovery in the garage. John Porter East had committed suicide with carbon monoxide.

East is located on the Arlington National Cemetery buried.