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A member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 48 years and speaker of the House in every Democratic-controlled Congress from 1940 to 1961, Sam Rayburn was the most powerful Texan ever to serve in the lower house. He shepherded through the House most of the important legislation of the New Deal and Fair Deal. During World War II Rayburn helped maintain financial support of the war effort. In the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, Rayburn worked closely with Lyndon B. Johnson in legislative matters. In 1960, when LBJ sought the Democratic presidential nomination but lost to John F. Kennedy, Rayburn approved Johnson’s decision to accept the vice presidential nomination.