Bob Wilson (U.S. politician)

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Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson (92nd Congress portrait).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Lionel Van Deerlin
Succeeded by Bill Lowery
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 40th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Andrew J. Hinshaw
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 36th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by None
Succeeded by William M. Ketchum
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Edward R. Roybal
Personal details
Born Robert Carlton Wilson
(1916-04-05)April 5, 1916
Calexico, California, U.S.
Died August 12, 1999(1999-08-12) (aged 83)
Chula Vista, California, U.S.
Resting place Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater San Diego State University

Robert Carlton "Bob" Wilson (April 5, 1916 – August 12, 1999) was an American politician. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives. He was a member of the Republican Party.

Biography[edit]

Wilson was born on April 5, 1916 in Calexico, California. He attended San Diego State College (now San Diego State University) and Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design). He served in World War II stateside in the Army commissary, 1940 – 1945. After the war, he was in the Marine Corps Reserve and was a partner in two advertising agencies.

Wilson first became involved in politics campaigning for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. He was recruited to run in the newly created 30th District, based in San Diego, California. When Wilson phoned his wife, Jean Bryant Wilson, with the news he was selected by the Republicans to run, she laughed saying "You a Congressman?" He was elected amid Eisenhower's gigantic landslide that year.

Wilson was reelected 13 times, rarely facing serious opposition as San Diego was a Republican stronghold. His campaigns featured anti-communism themes, stressing the importance of a strong military. He also opposed high taxes, championing rugged individualism instead. While in Congress he became a major spokesman for the defense industry and played a large role in the development of a military presence in San Diego. From 1959 until his retirement he was a member of the House Armed Services Committee. From 1968 to his retirement he served as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He was well-known and popular in San Diego, and would blanket his district with pot holders and other gifts with his name on it during election time. Several households still have the 40-page Bob Wilson Barbecue Cook Book he sent out. While in office, he patented a "Smack-Its", a table-top tetherball game.

In 1980, Wilson decided not to run for a 15th term. He served as co-chairman of American Freedom Coalition with Congressman Richard Ichord.

Wilson died on August 12, 1999 in Chula Vista, California, at the age of 83. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

Bob Wilson Drive at the San Diego Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park is named for Wilson. He once said "the hospital is the most important thing in my entire career in Congress as far as I'm concerned."

On May 8, 2008, Naval Medical Center San Diego was rededicated as Bob Wilson Naval Hospital. Bob Wilson Naval Hospital serves a population of 250,000 active-duty personnel along those retired from military service. The facility treats 4,000 patients, performs 50 surgical procedures and delivers 10 babies daily with a staff of 6,200, according to Adm. Christine Hunter, the hospital's commander.

Quote[edit]

  • "[President Harry Truman's] morally bankrupt administration was riddled from within by graft and grand larceny. The Trumanites had had their day.... It was time to turn the rascals out, to make a clean sweep and reinstate Christian principles of morality on a national level." – quoted from Confessions of a Kinetic Congressman

See also[edit]

  • Nugan Hand Bank
  • Confessions of a Kinetic Congressman by Bob Wilson (1996).
  • "Congressman Bob Wilson's Contribution to the Navy and San Diego, 1952–1962", San Diego State University Thesis, 1990 by Alec C. Schiller.
  • Bob Wilson Collection, Booth Historical Photograph Archives, San Diego Historical Society

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th congressional district

January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963
Succeeded by
Edward R. Roybal
(moved to 36th district)
Preceded by
District created
(moved from 30th district)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 36th congressional district

January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1973
Succeeded by
William M. Ketchum
(moved to 40th district)
Preceded by
District created
(moved from 36th district)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 40th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Succeeded by
Andrew J. Hinshaw
(moved to 41st district)
Preceded by
Lionel Van Deerlin
(moved from 40th district)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st congressional district

January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
Succeeded by
Bill Lowery