Rep. Ike Skelton (Missouri)Armed Services Committee
- Missouri Rep. Isaac (Ike) Newton Skelton IV's public-service career spans 30 years. Skelton's first election came during the Eisenhower administration, as prosecuting attorney in Lafayette County. Next, he was an assistant attorney general, followed by a few years in private practice, which overlapped with six years in the Missouri Senate before his election to the U.S. House in 1976.
- Currently the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Skelton comes from a military family. His father was a World War II veteranhaving served in the Navy on the battleship Missouriand a prosecutor. Skelton attended military academies as a child, but limitations in his arms from polio exempted him from service and derailed his aspirations for West Point. Two of Skelton's three sons are currently on active duty.
- Bess Truman endorsed Skelton when he first ran for Congress in 1976a reimbursement, he says, for his own father's backing Harry Truman in a tough Senate primary in 1940.
- At the 1960 Democratic convention, Skelton met Susan (Susie) Anding, his future wife of 44 years. In August 2005, Susie Skelton died after suffering a heart attack at age 69.
- To pay tribute to Susie Skelton's efforts as a congressman's wife and a leader of the Congressional Club, a Norway maple was planted at the base of the Capitol. A memorial tree must be approved by the House speaker's office and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. The Architect of the Capitol, which maintains the grounds, ensures that the tree's type and location are in keeping with the plan of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed the grounds.
- Skelton's pride in public service and Democratic principles is on display in his office by way of mementos that include a portrait of Franklin Roosevelt; a framed ticket to the 1960 Democratic convention; and a sign reading, "This office belongs to the people of the Fourth District."
- He is an avid reader: His 50-title recommended reading list includes such diverse titles as Alexander the Great and Supreme Command, a study of how Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, the first President Bush, and other civilian leaders have handledor mishandledmilitaries in wartime.
- On Sept. 4, 2002, Skelton wrote to President Bush, warning of "civil unrest and even anarchy" in the aftermath of an invasion of Iraq: "Planning for the occupation of Germany and Japantwo economically viable, technologically sophisticated nationstook place well in advance of the end of the war. The extreme difficulty of occupying Iraq ... argues both for careful consideration of the benefits and risks of undertaking military action and for detailed advanced occupation planning if such military action is approved."
- In May 2006, Skelton was the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Award for Public Service. The award is given annually to an outstanding public servant who best typifies and possesses the qualities of dedication, industry, ability, honesty, and integrity that distinguished Harry S. Truman in his years of public service, and recipients are selected by the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award Commission.
- Kansas City Star
- Washington Post