Barry Morris Goldwater was an American politician, statesman, businessman, United States Air Force officer, and author who was a five-term Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States in 1964. Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, many political pundits and historians believe he laid the foundation for the conservative revolution to follow, as the grassroots organization and conservative takeover of the Republican party began a long-term realignment in American politics which helped to bring about the "Reagan Revolution" of the 1980s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.
Goldwater was born in Phoenix in what was then the Arizona Territory, where he helped manage his family's department store. Upon the U.S. entry into World War II, Goldwater received a reserve commission in the United States Army Air Force. He trained as a pilot and was assigned to the Ferry Command, a newly formed unit that flew aircraft and supplies to war zones worldwide.