Throughout a long career in public life, John W. Warner III served as assistant U.S. attorney (1956–1960), undersecretary of the navy (1969–1972), secretary of the navy (1972–1974), and represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate for three decades (1979–2009). Warner did not seek reelection in 2008, leaving him second only to Harry F. Byrd Sr. as the longest-serving senator from Virginia. Warner was born in Washington, D.C., on February 18, 1927, the son of Martha Budd Warner and John W. Warner Jr. Warner married banking heiress Catherine Conover Mellon in 1957, with whom he had three children before divorcing in 1973. His 1976 marriage to actress Elizabeth Taylor attracted much attention before ending in divorce in 1982. Warner married Jeanne Vander Myde in 2003. As a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps veteran who served in two wars and former secretary of the navy, Warner made his greatest mark in the Senate on military and defense matters. He twice served as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he pressed for large investments and notable innovations in U.S. defense capabilities and championed better pay and benefits for military families. A moderate conservative with a penchant for independence and nontraditional approaches to problem solving, Warner occasionally departed from conservative orthodoxy, thereby rankling some GOP partisans and earning him crossover support during a career that often seemed to transcend Virginia’s competitive two-party system. After leaving the Senate, he expressed alarm over the country’s worsening political polarization and several times supported Democratic candidates for president and the U.S. Senate, including the reelection bids of his successor, Mark R. Warner (no relation). Warner died of heart failure in Alexandria on May 25, 2021, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.