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James Buckley, conservative former US senator from New York, dead at 100 | News Fission

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James Buckley, a former U.S. senator from New York and judge on the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, died Friday at 100 years old.

Buckley, the older brother of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., is one of the few people to have served in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Federal government.

Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, left, and former New York U.S. Sen. James Buckley chat at a fundraising cocktail party sponsored by the friends of the conservative party, in New York, Jan. 15, 1980.  (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez, File)

James Buckley

James Buckley (Getty Images, File)

The former judge died at a hospital in Washington, D.C., according to his son, David Buckley, of Arlington, Virginia.

Buckley was born on March 9, 1923. He went to the Millbrook School in New York and then on to Yale, where he majored in English. He served in the Navy and fought in the Far East during World War II. Later, he went to Yale Law School and became a corporate lawyer. 

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In 1953, Jim Buckley married Ann Frances Coole, who died in 2011.

James Buckley

William F. Buckley Jr., left, joins in rejoicing over the victory in New York’s U.S. Senatorial race by his brother, James Buckley, right, at the latter’s campaign headquarters in New York City, Nov. 3, 1970. (Getty Images, File)

His illustrious political career began when he managed his brother’s mayoral campaign in 1965.

He went on to become senator in 1970 as part of the Conservative Party of New York.

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Buckley is famous for challenging campaign finance laws in the wake of a post-Watergate world in the landmark Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo. 

William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr., right, founder of the National Review, checks the program with three guests, during the 20th anniversary celebration of the conservative magazine. With Buckley is his brother, Sen. James L. Buckley (C-NY), left, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, center, and Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ). (Getty Images, File)

In March 1974, Buckley shocked Republicans by calling on President Richard Nixon to resign and to pull the nation “out of the Watergate swamp” and save the office of the presidency.

Buckley lost his senate seat in a reelection campaign to Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1976, the same year he officially switched to the Republican Party. 

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He later served in the Reagan administration as an undersecretary for security assistance in the U.S. Department of State and was later nominated by Reagan to a position as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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