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Thomas Edison Takes His Place in Statuary Hall in Congress

photo of Thomas Edison statue

Ohio once again has two well-known figures enshrined in Statuary Hall in Congress.

A statue of Ohio-born inventor Thomas Edison was unveiled in a ceremony featuring U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both of Ohio’s U.S. senators and Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.

Rosenberger says Edison is important not just for his inventions but because of his perseverance and determination.

“Never giving up, working hard, but most importantly, that it was believing in oneself that never allowed him to fail. Thomas Edison is reflective of the traditions and values that has built this country.”

Democratic U.S. Sen.Sherrod Brown says Edison was a great choice for the state’s second statue, joining Ohio-born president James Garfield.

Sen. Brown's opinion of Edison.

“We’re a state of inventors and pioneers, of dreamers and creators. Thomas Edison lit the world. The Wright brothers vaulted us into the skies. John Glenn reached for the heavens. Neil Armstrong touched the stars.”

Edison’s statue joins one of Ohio-born President James Garfield. It replaces a statue of former Gov. William Allen, which the state took down in 2010 when Allen’s pro-slavery views came to light. Edison was the winner in a statewide contest for the new statue.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.