Claiborne de Borda Pell (November 22, 1918 – January 1, 2009) was an American career politician and writer who served as a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island for six terms from 1961 to 1997. He was the sponsor of the 1972 bill that reformed the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, which provides financial aid funding to American college students; the grant was later given Pell’s name in honor of his work in education legislation. A member of the Democratic Party, Pell is the longest serving U.S. Senator from Rhode Island.