|Name||Morris K. "Mo" Udall|
Tucson, Arizona , United States
|| June 15, 1922
|Died||December 12, 1998
|Contributor||411 Name Removed|
Feb 08, 2016 04:09am
Caucasian - Married - Disabled - Army - Latter Day Saints (Mormon) - Straight -
|Info||Morris King Udall was born in St. Johns, Arizona, June 15, 1922, to a Mormon family with six children. At age seven, he lost his right eye in an accident, but this loss didn't stop him from becoming co-captain of his high school basketball team, quarterback for the football team, trumpet player in the school band, student body president and valedictorian. After graduation he entered The University of Arizona. His college career was interrupted from 1942 to 1945 when he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific, entering as a private and honorably discharged as captain. |
In 1946, Udall returned to The University of Arizona and earned a law degree. He obtained an airplane pilot license, played professional basketball for the Denver Nuggets and, after scoring highest on the state bar exam, was admitted to the Arizona Bar and began practicing law with his brother Stewart.
He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1961 in a special election to replace his brother Stewart who left the position to become President John F. Kennedy's Secretary of the Interior.
Petitioned by many of his colleagues in the House of Representatives, Udall campaigned for the 1976 Democratic Party Presidential nomination. He finished second to Jimmy Carter, who was elected president. In 1977, Udall was named chairman of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (now Committee on Resources) until 1991.
Udall was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder impairing movement and speech, in 1979. In May 1991, he resigned from Congress for health reasons, and he died on 12 December 1998. He left six children, one stepson, and his wife, the former Norma Gilbert.
Udall was one of the most productive members of Congress in the latter part of this century. Chief among his accomplishments was the Alaska Lands Act of 1980, which doubled the size of the national park system, and tripled the size of the national wilderness system.
Other significant legislation includes: The Central Arizona Project, Postal Reform Act, Bill to Reform Congressional Franking Privileges, Strip Mining Reclamation Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, Civil Service Reforms, Archaeological Research Protection Act, Southern Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act, Nuclear Waste Management Policy Act, Arizona Wilderness Act, Amendment to the Price-Anderson provision of the Atomic Energy Act, Indian Gaming Act, Arizona Desert Wilderness Act, Tongass Timber Reform Act.
As well as serving in the House of Representatives for three decades, Udall ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976. He became one of the most creative and productive legislators of the century. His concern for Native Americans and love of the environment resulted in numerous pieces of legislation moving through Congress. He also authored important legislation on campaign reform, congressional ethics and was the first major Democrat to oppose President Johnson on the Vietnam War.
Udall's sense of humor, civility and a strong bipartisan spirit led him to distinguish between political opponents and enemies. One of Udall's closest longtime friends was the rock of Republican conservatism, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. To honor his family's contributions to public service, The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, The Morris K. Udall Foundation, and the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, all continue the Udall's legacy to improve the American experiment.