Ken Hechler


Ken Hechler has been on the frontlines of history for much of his life, and at 97 years old, he’s finding new ways to remain active and vibrant.

Hechler taught at Princeton University with Albert Einstein, represented West Virginia for nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and from 1985 to 2001, he was elected four times to serve as West Virginia’s Secretary of State.  

He retired from his position at the age of 87 but decided he didn’t like retirement. At the age of 90, he ran for his old Secretary of State seat but lost in the general election. In 2010, he made history be becoming the nation’s oldest candidate for U.S. Senate when he ran in a special election to replace the late legendary Sen. Robert Byrd.

Hechler was also one of five men to interview Hitler’s top commanders before the Nuremburg Trials and he was the only member of Congress to march on Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965.

He’s the author of four books, including his two latest. One describes his grandfather’s experiences serving in the Union Army during the Civil War and the other is his 1,200-page account of his interrogations of Hitler’s number two.

Hechler tells us that he has many more plans, including continuing to speak at high schools around the country and writing more books.

Listen to his fascinating stories from some of the most memorable events in history, including his impressions of his colleague Einstein and what King told him about the Selma march. And find out how vibrant and exciting aging can be.