Senator Jim Broyhill: A Remembrance

We are sad to note that Senator James "Jim" Broyhill passed away on February 18, 2023. He was a good friend to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, the University Libraries, Appalachian State University, and western North Carolina. We offer this remembrance through selections from his manuscript collection, the James Thomas Broyhill Papers.

Elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1962, Mr. Broyhill represented western North Carolina in the 9th and later the 10th district (changed through redistricting) through 1986. In that year, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John East. While in the House of Representatives, he was a ranking minority member of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee (later called the Energy and Commerce Committee), the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, and the Small Business Committee.  During his 24 years in office, Congressman Broyhill witnessed many national events unfold:  the death of President John F. Kennedy, the space race, the war on poverty, the Vietnam War, the civil rights and women's rights movements.  He used his elected position to influence salient issues for the region such as the passage of the Appalachian Regional Development Act (1965), which created the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the completion of the Blue Ridge Parkway (1987). He supported the bill that created the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (1976) and led the passage of the Small Business Investment Incentive Act (1980).

After his congressional career, Mr. Broyhill served North Carolina as the chairman of the state’s Board of Economic Development, 1987-1989, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, 1989-1991, co-chairman of the state’s Welfare to Work Business Council, 1998-2000, plus twelve years as a member of the Economic Development Committee of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, six of those years as its chairman. Local to Appalachian State University, Mr. Broyhill served on the Board of Trustees of the University, 1993-2001 (1996-1997, chair) and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian State Foundation, 1996-2003. In 2000, Mr. Broyhill was named an Honorary Alumnus of Appalachian State University, and in 2010, he received an honorary doctorate.

Below are images from his collection, AC. 100, James Thomas Broyhill Papers:


Broyhill waves to the crowd

Mr. Broyhill waves to the crowd at a campaign event. From AC. 100, Series F, Subseries 1, Box 1, Folder 8.

 Broyhill signing hats at a rally

Mr. Broyhill signs hats at a campaign rally. From AC. 100, Series F, Subseries 1, Box 3, Folder 1.

 Congressman Broyhill with President Reagan and Vice President Bush

Congressman Broyhill joins President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush in the White House's Oval Office. From AC. 100, Series F, Subseries 1, Box 5, Folder 3.

 Congressman Broyhill with consistuents in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Broyhill with constituents on the U.S. Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. From AC. 100, Series F, Subseries 1, Box 4, Folder 2.

 Congressman Broyhill in front of the Capitol

Congressman Broyhill pictured on a promotional pocket calendar that was distributed to constituents during 1970-1971. From AC. 100, Series B, Subseries 42, Box 42, Folder 4.

Additional images are available through our Digital Collections.

Congressman Broyhill at his desk in Washington, D.C.
Published: Feb 20, 2023 11:28am