Robert Kerr briefly flirted with a run for the White House in 1952.
A businessman in his private life, Kerr built a petroleum company before joining the political game. He was elected the governor of Oklahoma in 1942 as that state's first native-born chief executive.
He ran for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat and won the closely contested 1948 race. After his presidential aspirations floundered he focused on building his senate career, which ran for three terms.
A genial, well-liked man in Oklahoma, contemporary reports inside the Washington Beltway were convinced of his power in helping create momentum for many projects during the Kennedy administration.
The so-called "Uncrowned King of the Senate" died of a heart attack on New Year's Day, 1963.