Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn was an American politician who served as the 43rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He represented Texas's 4th congressional district as a Democrat from 1913 to 1961. He holds the record for the longest tenure as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving for over seventeen years.
Born in Roane County, Tennessee, Rayburn moved with his family to Windom, Texas in 1887. After a period as a school teacher, Rayburn won election to the Texas House of Representatives and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. He won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1912 and continually won re-election until his death in 1961. Rayburn was a protege of John Nance Garner and a mentor to Lyndon B. Johnson.
Rayburn was elected House Majority Leader in 1937 and was elevated to the position of Speaker of the House after the death of William B. Bankhead. He led the House Democrats from 1940 to 1961, and served as Speaker of the House from 1940 to 1947, 1949 to 1953, and 1955 to 1961. He also served as House Minority Leader from 1947 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1955.