Born in Rutland, Vermont, ROBERT T. STAFFORD graduated from Middlebury College in 1935 and from Boston University Law School in 1938. He was Rutland City Prosecutor from 1939 to 1942, a partner in the law firm of Stafford, Abiatell and Stafford from 1938 to 1946, and a senior partner in the law firm of Stafford and La Brake from 1946 to 1951. He was State's Attorney for Rutland County, deputy Attorney General and then Attorney General of Vermont, and finally Lieutenant Governor, before being elected governor in 1958. As governor, Stafford focused on stabilizing state government operations and making capital investments in projects designed to improve Vermont's economy. During his administration, legislation was passed establishing the Department of Administration and providing scholarships to Vermont students attending Vermont colleges. After serving one term as governor, Stafford ran successfully for the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he served for five terms. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1971 and elected the following year to fill a five-year unexpired term resulting from the death of the late Winston L. Prouty. He was reelected to a full six-year Senate term in 1976, and became chairman of the UN-USA Association Panel of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1989.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Who's Who in America, Vol. X. New Providence, NJ: Marquis' Who's Who.