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Milward L. Simpson

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Title: Milward L. Simpson  
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Subject: John J. Hickey, Clifford Hansen, Clifford Joy Rogers, Alan K. Simpson, Governors of Wyoming
Collection: 1897 Births, 1993 Deaths, American Episcopalians, American Military Personnel of World War I, Baseball Players from Wyoming, Governors of Wyoming, Harvard University Alumni, Members of the Wyoming House of Representatives, People from Jackson, Wyoming, People from Park County, Wyoming, Players of American Football from Wyoming, Republican Party State Governors of the United States, Republican Party United States Senators, United States Army Officers, United States Senators from Wyoming, Wyoming Cowboys Basketball Players, Wyoming Cowboys Football Players, Wyoming Lawyers, Wyoming Republicans
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Milward L. Simpson

Milward L. Simpson
United States Senator
from Wyoming
In office
November 6, 1962 – January 3, 1967
Preceded by John J. Hickey
Succeeded by Clifford Hansen
23rd Governor of Wyoming
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 5, 1959
Preceded by Clifford Joy Rogers
Succeeded by John J. Hickey
Personal details
Born Milward Lee Simpson
(1897-11-12)November 12, 1897
Jackson, Wyoming
Died June 10, 1993(1993-06-10)
(aged 95)
Cody, Wyoming
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lorna Kooi Simpson

Pete Simpson

Alan K. Simpson
Alma mater

University of Wyoming

Harvard University Law School
Profession Attorney; Businessman
Religion Episcopalian
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars World War I

Milward Lee Simpson (November 12, 1897 – June 10, 1993) was an American politician who served as a U.S. Senator and as the 23rd Governor of Wyoming.


  • Life and career 1
  • Bibliography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

Simpson was born in Jackson in Teton County in northwestern Wyoming, the son of Margaret (née Burnett) and William Lee Simpson. He attended the public schools of Wood River, Meeteetse, and Cody. In 1921, he graduated from the University of Wyoming at Laramie in Albany County. While a student at UW, he was both an athlete and a member of the university's debate team. During World War I, Simpson served as a second lieutenant in the infantry, United States Army. From 1921 to 1925, he attended Harvard University Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1926 and practiced law in Cody until 1955 when he became governor of Wyoming.

Simpson served as a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1926 to 1927. He was a member of the board of trustees of the University of Wyoming in 1939 and president of the board from 1943 to 1954. He was a member of the National Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions and served as president of the body from 1952 to 1953.

Milward Simpson, Republican, was narrowly elected governor in November 1954. He defeated the Democrat William Jack, 56,275 (50.5 percent) to 55,163 (49.5 percent). Simpson was unseated after a single term in 1958, a heavily Democratic year nationally, after a single term in office by John J. Hickey of Rawlins in Carbon County, 55,070 (48.9 percent) to 52,488 (46.6 percent). He resumed his law practice in 1959.

Simpson won a special election on November 6, 1962, to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Republican Senator-elect Edwin Keith Thomson in the term ending January 3, 1967; he was not a candidate for Senate reelection in 1966 but was succeeded by outgoing Governor Clifford Hansen of Jackson. Simpson lived in Cody until his death in 1993 at the age of ninety-five.

Along with Barry Goldwater of Arizona, Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, Bourke B. Hickenlooper of Iowa, Edwin Mechem of New Mexico, and John Tower of Texas, Simpson was one of six Republican senators who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[1] However, as governor he had signed into law Wyoming civil rights measure in 1957 which had abolished racial segregation in his state.[2]

Simpson and his wife, the former Lorna Kooi, had two sons, both of whom have the middle name "Kooi." The younger son, Alan K. Simpson, served in the Wyoming House from Park County from 1965 to 1977 and in the United States Senate as a Republican from 1979 to 1997. Alan Simpson was the Senate Republican Whip during the early 1990s. An older son, Peter K. Simpson, is a retired historian and administrator at the University of Wyoming who served in the state House from 1981 to 1984 from Sheridan County, where he was then residing while serving as an administrator at Sheridan College. Milward Simpson's grandson, Colin M. Simpson, is a former member of the Wyoming House from Cody who lost a Republican primary for governor in 2010 to Matt Mead of Jackson, a grandson of Clifford Hansen. Mead still holds the office of governor.

As a young man, Milward Simpson played professional baseball in Cody. One of his teammates was the subsequent Lieutenant Governor and Education Superintendent Bill Dodd of Louisiana. They became close friends.


  • U.S. Congress. Tributes to Milward L. Simpson of Wyoming. 89th Cong., 2nd sess., 1966. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1966.
  • Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections, Wyoming Governor's elections, 1954 and 1958
  • William J. "Bill" Dodd, Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Claitor's, 1991)
  • Robert Wakefield, Ph.D, Milward L. Simpson: The Fiery Petrel, Wakefield Publishing


  1. ^
  2. ^ Billy Hathorn, Review of Dude Ranching in the Yellowstone Country: Larry Larom and Valley Ranch, 1915-1969 by W. Hudson Kensel, South Dakota History, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 458, 460

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Clifford Joy Rogers
Governor of Wyoming
January 3, 1955 – January 5, 1959
Succeeded by
John J. Hickey
United States Senate
Preceded by
John J. Hickey
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Wyoming
November 7, 1962 – January 3, 1967
Served alongside: Gale W. McGee
Succeeded by
Clifford Hansen
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Frank Briggs
Oldest living U.S. Senator
September 23, 1992 – June 10, 1993
Succeeded by
Margaret Smith
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