Birch Bayh, Author of Title IX Legislation, Dies at 91

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.



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Thank you SwimSwam for this reminder article about Birch Bayh who worked to give us Title IX. This law made an enormous difference for girls and young women who wanted to participate in athletic sports and live the healthy, active, confident, skilled, athletic life. For example, high schools were forced to fund sports and teams for women and this made a difference with unending and compounding benefits for all. I could go on but will stop. I’ll just say thank you to Bayh, who is an example of a true politician who bettered lives and supported equality. Bless him and his memory.


So this guy is the reason Men’s NCAAs only gets 30 invites but women’s gets 40…BRUH


And that men get 9.9 scholarships and women get 15


The women are better. When they’re kids, best male athletes go into more prestigious/“cooler” sports than swimming.

Ol' Longhorn

Yeah, he saved us from men’s C and D finals, and pumped up Div II swimming.


I think it sucks that there are colleges dropping swimming (and wrestling, soccer, gymnastics, etc) “in order to be compliant with X test in Title IX” and that men’s swimming championship selected participants are fewer, as are the scholarships. However, I am glad that more women have the chance to compete at the top level. It’s obvious that USA women’s swimming, basketball, soccer, and other sports are the best in the world. We’ve made incredible gains there and it’s made us all better. Now let’s work on making sure that this isn’t a zero-sum game by colleges citing the law to drop men’s sports to balance their budgets. Talking to YOU, UCLA, Rutgers, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Rice, Houston, Colorado State,… Read more »

Mark A Rossmiller

Its the gargantuan football programs that are to blame, bankrupting colleges, then causing the reason for men’s and women’s sports cuts – its not Title IX that is to blame .


Agree 100%. When there’s a football scholarship for the third-string inside right-side linebacker in a 3-4 defense who never gets in a game, that’s the problem. It’s just that Title IX is always blamed. What they’re really saying is they’re going to protect the football team that is bleeding red ink, with over-paid staffs, and look for other places to cut teams. It’s always the swim, wrestling, gymnastics, and soccer teams that are cut.

2 Cents

Just curious, what soccer teams have been cut? I feel like that’s a relatively cheap sport to have and in the top half of popularity.


Don’t blame Birch Bayh for how the NCAA has decided to implement Title IX. With 85 football scholarships available for FBS teams that pretty much guarantees less scholarships for non-revenue men’s sports. In the big picture Title IX has made a huge impact on women’s athletics and it’s disappointing some of that has been at the expense of men’s sports, but it’s as much a result of the almighty dollar as it is Title IX.

Mark A Rossmiller

Who are you kidding, men have been eating women’s lunch for a century and still leaving them the crumbs…men don’t share and they don’t want equity for women.


Well this comment section will be very agreeable

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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