George William Norris
George William Norris (July 11, 1861 – September 2, 1944) was a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. He served five terms in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican, from 1903 until 1913, and five terms in the United States Senate, from 1913 until 1943, four terms as a Republican and the final term as an independent. Norris was defeated for reelection in 1942.
Norris was a leader of progressive and liberal causes in Congress. He is best known for his intense crusades against what he characterized as “wrong and evil”, his liberalism, his insurgency against party leaders, his isolationist foreign policy, his support for labor unions, and especially for creating the Tennessee Valley Authority. President Franklin Roosevelt called him “the very perfect, gentle knight of American progressive ideals,” and this has been the theme of all of his biographers. A 1957 advisory panel of 160 scholars recommended that Norris was the top choice for the five best Senators in U.S. history.