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It was announced yesterday that former Senator Charles Percy of Illinois had died aged 91.

“Chuck” Percy as Charles preferred to be known, was a typical old firm oligarchical member of the Senate.  Well turned out, well groomed, and with impeccable manners he epitomised all that is expected of the gentleman politician.  He had a strong background in business having been President of Bell and Howell and overseeing its exponential rise after the Second World War.

He was, however, of old blue blood too.  Through his grandmother Helen Herndon, Charles was connected to Virginia’s ruling families.  Great grandfather Thomas Hord Herndon, had been the Representative from Alabama, as well as a third cousin of the wife of President Chester Arthur.

Chuck too held hopes for the great prize of President, and sought it twice in 1967 where he eventually deferred to Nelson Rockefeller (see second chart!) and more positively in 1976 before he eventually decided President Ford was too well established for him to be able to launch a successful attempt.

He continued to maintain connections with the oligarchy when his daughter Sharon Percy married Senator John D Rockefeller IV an oligarch we have looked at in previous posts on this blog, here, and here.

Another example of how the oligarchs continue to over represent a small section of society at the expense of everyone else.

Copyright David Macadam 2011

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