Senator Philip A. Hart was born December 10, 1912, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1934 and a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1937.
He was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1938 and practiced law in Detroit until serving with the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1946 during World War II. He was wounded during the D-Day assault on Utah Beach in Normandy. He was discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry in 1946.
He was the Michigan Corporation Securities Commissioner from 1949 until his resignation in 1951 and State director of the Office of Price Stabilization from 1951 to 1952. He then served as United States district attorney of the Eastern Michigan District (1952-1953); legal adviser to the Governor of Michigan (1953-1954); and lieutenant governor (1955-1958).
He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1958 and reelected in 1964 and 1970. He served from January 3, 1959, until his death in Washington, D.C., December 26, 1976. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1976. He is interred in St. Anne's Catholic Cemetery, Mackinac Island, Mich.
Senator Hart's 18 years of service in congress earned universal respect and admiration on both sides of the aisle. Widely known as "the conscience of the senate," his courageous leadership on controversial issues ranging from civil rights to the advancement of consumer and environmental protection was recognized and honored shortly before his death in 1976 through the naming of the Phil A. Hart Senate Office Building.
In one phrase: Colleagues from both parties regarded Senator Hart as the "conscience of the Senate."
Family: Philip Hart married Jane Briggs Hart. They had eight children.
"Naming it for Phil Hart was a nice gesture. And if they could build his qualities...into the walls, we would have a Senate that would astound the world with its civility and enlightenment."
Mary McGrory, Washington Post columnist, on the naming of the Senate Office Building in honor of Senator Philip A. Hart