Arkansas author Kay Goss has written a book about the life and legacy of former Congressman Wilbur Mills. As one of the longest serving Arkansas officials in Congress, Mills made a name for himself wielding power as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 1958 to 1975.
In an interview with Talk Business Arkansas, Goss said Mills had a very close working relationship with President John F. Kennedy.
“In 1962, [Kennedy and Mills] were able to accomplish comprehensive tax reform, comprehensive trade reform, and also increase Social Security equity and extend it to more groups of people, like fire fighters and public employees who had not been covered in it,” Goss said.
A former professor and governmental agency director, Goss has already written several articles on the political impact of Mills’ work, but she says this book goes even deeper.
“The message I think that really compelled me to write the book is: a small boy, in a small town and in a small state, can decide when they’re very young that they want to do something really important with their lives and they can actually do it and they can achieve,” said Goss. “And when they stumble they can recover and lead their best life in service after that.”
Goss says readers of her book, “Mr. Chairman: The Life and Legacy of Wilbur D. Mills,” will learn a lot about Arkansas and U.S. history through the experiences of a man who overcame many obstacles.