|United States Senator|
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Wendell Ford|
|Succeeded by||Rand Paul|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Kentucky's 4th district
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1999
|Preceded by||Gene Snyder|
|Succeeded by||Ken Lucas|
|Member of the Kentucky Senate|
from the 11th District
|Preceded by||Donald L. Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Art Schmidt|
James Paul David Bunning
October 23, 1931
Southgate, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||May 26, 2017 (aged 85)|
Fort Thomas, Kentucky, U.S.
|Education||Xavier University (BA)|
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|July 20, 1955, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 3, 1971, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||3.27|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
| Baseball Hall of Fame |
James Paul David Bunning (October 23, 1931 – May 26, 2017) was an American professional baseball pitcher and politician who represented Kentucky in both chambers of the United States Congress. He is the sole Major League Baseball athlete to have been elected to both the United States Senate and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bunning pitched from 1955 to 1971 for the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Dodgers. When Bunning retired, he had the second-highest total career strikeouts in Major League history; he currently ranks 17th. As a member of the Phillies, Bunning pitched the seventh perfect game in Major League Baseball history on June 21, 1964, the first game of a Father's Day doubleheader at Shea Stadium, against the New York Mets. The perfect game was the first since 1880 in the National League. Bunning was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1996 after election by the Hall's Veterans Committee.
After retiring from baseball, Bunning returned to his native northern Kentucky and was elected to the Fort Thomas city council, then the Kentucky Senate, in which he served as minority leader. In 1986, Bunning was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's 4th congressional district, and served in the House from 1987 to 1999. He was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky in 1998 and served two terms as the Republican junior U.S. Senator. In July 2009, he announced that he would not run for re-election in 2010. Bunning gave his farewell speech to the Senate on December 9, 2010, and was succeeded by current Senator Rand Paul on January 3, 2011.
Education and family
Bunning was born in Southgate, Kentucky, the son of Gladys (née Best) and Louis Aloysius Bunning. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1949 and received a bachelor's degree in economics from Xavier University in 1953.
In 1952, Bunning married Mary Catherine Theis. They had five daughters and four sons. One of Bunning's sons, David Bunning, is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, who presided over the Kim Davis case, Miller v. Davis. Another son, Bill, is the head brew master at Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in Navarre, Florida. Jim and Mary Catherine also have thirty-five grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren, as of 2013. One of those grandchildren is Patrick Towles, a former starting quarterback for the .