Former Indiana senator Birch Bayh, who served for 18 years from 1963 to 1981, died on Thursday at his home in Maryland at the age of 91.
Bayh has on his resume a significant list of political and legislative successes, and is credited with saving the life off Senator Ted Kennedy after the two were involved in a plain crash in 1964.
Among his achievements was authoring 2 constitutional amendments: the 25th, which deals with the orderly transition of power in the case of the death, disability, or resignation of the President of the United States; and the 26th, which made the voting age in the United States 18. That makes him the only non-founding father to have authored two constitutional amendments.
His chief contribution to the world sport comes as a gender equality advocate. That includes authoring Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1965, better known as just Title IX, which bars gender discrimination in any institutions of higher education that receives funding from the federal government. Once signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972, among other things, it ushered in an era of equal access to scholastic athletics for women. On Title IX’s 40th anniversary in 2012, Bayh was referred to as the “father of Title IX” by ABC.
Before Title IX was signed, fewer than 300,000 girls participated in high school athletics. In the 2017-2018 school year, the NFHS reports girls’ high school athletics participation at more than 3.4 million: a record high (and believed to be underreported based on the surveying method employed).
To read more about Bayh, see a more complete biography from CNN.