Tribute to Dr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding retirement of Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington:

“We recently learned that Dr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress who’s been with us for almost 30 years, will be retiring in January.
“He plans to spend more time with his wife of nearly 58 years, Marjorie. He wants to see more of his 4 children and 12 grandchildren. I’m sure he’d also like to catch up with his buddy who plays for the Grateful Dead or maybe sit back with a box or two of the Malomars he loves so much.

“But I don’t think Dr. Billington is ready to take his scholar’s cap off just yet.

“Because he’s preparing to do a little writing too, and about folks who played an important role in the history of – what else? – the library that means so much to him.

“Dr. Billington has called the Library of Congress the ‘greatest collection of knowledge and copyrighted creativity in human history,’ and I know how proud he is of the many initiatives he’s undertaken to expand its reach and its relevance.
“I noted yesterday that you’re unlikely to come across many guys who can say they’ve been a Princeton valedictorian, a Harvard professor, an expert on the Kremlin, a veteran, and a Rhodes Scholar. But that’s our Librarian of Congress.

“He speaks 7 languages, he’s got 42 honorary doctorates, and I’m hoping he’ll soon be able to start catching a full 8 hours every night.

“Dr. Billington has certainly earned it, and we wish him the very best in retirement.”

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