American political leader Mike Mansfield was born on March 16, 1903, in New York City. He was brought up by his Uncle and Aunt in Great Falls Montana after his mother died. He lied about his age and served in the Navy during World War I at the age of 14. He was discovered and discharged after serving. He then enlisted in the Marines and served until 1922. He had dropped out of high school but after returning to Montona and marrying he completed High School College and received a Masters. In 1942 he won an election to become a member of the House of Representatives. He served five times until 1952 when he ran and won a seat to the Senate. He served as a Democratic Senator from Montana, and holds the record for the longest term as majority leader, having held the position for 16 years (1961-1977).
He was known for his influence in foreign affairs, having strong opinions on the nation's security needs and the importance of balance-of-power relationships.
Mansfield also served in the House of Representatives for 10 years and worked on foreign diplomatic assignments under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson.
President Carter appointed him ambassador to Japan, a position he retained under President Reagan.