U.S. Senator from Indiana, 1977-2012
Lugar’s first elective office was on the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners, where he served from 1964 until 1967, when he ran successfully for mayor of Indianapolis. During his two mayoral terms he oversaw the groundbreaking merger of city and county government into Uni-Gov, which laid the groundwork for the emergence of Indianapolis as a viable and vibrant city.
In 1976 Lugar defeated incumbent Senator Vance Hartke to begin his tenure as the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Indiana. He was prominent in developing agricultural and urban policy and was particularly committed to work in foreign policy, including his long-term and ongoing work with former Senator Sam Nunn in the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, passed by Congress under their stewardship in 1991 to reduce nuclear weapons and material throughout the world.
In his bid for reelection in 2012, Lugar was defeated in the Republican primary by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who subsequently lost the election to Democrat Joe Donnelly.
Lugar’s work outside of Congress includes the Richard G. Lugar Program in Politics and Public Service established in 1994 at Denison University, on the Board of Trustees of which he has served since 1966; the Lugar Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders, now known as the Richard G. Lugar Academy, established in 1977 at the University of Indianapolis; and the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy established in 2007 at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. In January 2013 he joined the faculty of Indiana University-Bloomington as Professor of Practice in the new School of Global and International Studies.
Indianapolis: Crossroads of the American Dream (Memphis, TN: Towery Pub., c1996)
Letters to the Next President (New York: Simon and Schuster, c1988)