Evan Bayh on his dad Birch Bayh’s furious fight for women | #students | #parents

INDIANAPOLIS — Evan Bayh was 16 years old, dashingly handsome and a student at an elite college preparatory school for boys in Washington, D.C.

Life was grand in the summer of 1972, worries were few except…his dad.

Birch Bayh, Jr., had something heavy weighing on his mind. Evan Bayh knew that. He lived those days leading up to June 23, 1972.

He remembers his parents’ serious discussions at the dinner table as Birch Bayh and his mom, Marvella, would concoct political strategies over roast beef and potatoes.

He remembers their passionate talks that swirled around Title IX, a bill U.S. senator Birch Bayh had authored and that he wanted desperately to be passed. 

Birch Bayh was in a furious fight to change the world.

That’s how his dad saw Title IX, Evan Bayh told IndyStar this month, he saw a world where half the population was being excluded from too many things — athletics, academic opportunities, equal treatment.

“That just fundamentally offended him. He was offended for women,” said Evan Bayh, former Indiana governor and U.S. senator. “That’s not how the world should work, man or woman, it should be equal. He had this innate, incredible sense of fairness and justice.”

More:Marvella Bayh was Title IX’s secret weapon: She died at 46, never seeing the impact it had

‘He wanted to level the playing field’

Birch Bayh had been an athlete, playing intramural sports at Purdue, and later boxing in the Golden Gloves. His dad, Birch Bayh, Sr., had been an athlete, too.

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