William L. Clay William Lacy "Bill" Clay, Sr. (born April 30, 1931) is a politician from the state of Missouri. He represented portions of St. Louis in the US House of Representatives for 32 years.
Clay was born in St. Louis, Missouri and he graduated from St. Louis University. Clay served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 and he was a St. Louis alderman from 1959 to 1964. Clay served 105 days in jail for participating in a Civil Rights demonstration in 1963.
He was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1968. He became an advocate for environmentalism, labor issues and social justice. Clay faced ethics charges in the 1970s for billing the government on auto trips while flying on airlines, and the House banking scandal revealed that Clay had 328 overdrafts. In 1993, Clay helped to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In 2000, he retired from the House and his son William Lacy Clay, Jr. succeeded him.