Vail M. Pittman

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Vail M. Pittman
19th Governor of Nevada
In office
July 24, 1945 – January 1, 1951
Lieutenant Clifford A. Jones
Preceded by Edward P. Carville
Succeeded by Charles H. Russell
19th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
In office
Governor Edward P. Carville
Preceded by Maurice J. Sullivan
Succeeded by Clifford A. Jones
Personal details
Born (1883-09-17)September 17, 1883
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
Died January 29, 1964(1964-01-29) (aged 80)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Resting place Masonic Memorial Gardens
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Political party Democratic

Vail Montgomery Pittman (September 17, 1880[a] – January 29, 1964) was an American politician. He was the 19th Governor of Nevada. He was a member of the Democratic Party.


Pittman was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He went to the University of the South and Brown's Business College. Pittman was the younger brother of Key Pittman, a longtime United States Senator from Nevada.[2]


Pittman moved to Tonopah, Nevada in 1904 and began a successful newspaper publishing career. He met Ida Louise Brewington there and they married in Reno, Nevada on May 20, 1919. He and his wife bought the "Ely Daily Times" in Ely, Nevada and moved there in April of 1920 and began what was to be a very successful business.[3] Elected to the Nevada State Senate, Pittman was in the position from 1925 to 1928.

Pittman was elected the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 1942. He was a candidate in the Democratic primary for United States Senate in 1944, but was defeated by the incumbent, Pat McCarran. He became governor when Edward P. Carville resigned in 1945. He was elected in 1946 to a term of his own and Pittman served until 1951. He and his wife moved back to Ely and continued operating the "Ely Daily Times" and traveling extensively. He served as a member of the 1960 Democratic National Committee.[4]


Pittman died from cancer on January 29, 1964 in a hospital in San Francisco, California[5][6] at the age of 80. He is interred at Masonic Memorial Gardens, Reno, Washoe County, Nevada USA.


  1. ^ Vail's birth year is given in various sources as 1880, 1881, and 1883. However, his mother, Catherine (Key) Pittman, died on January 4, 1881, so only the earliest date is tenable.[1]


  1. ^ Glad, Betty (1986). Key Pittman: the tragedy of a Senate insider. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 4. 
  2. ^ "Vail M. Pittman". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "VailM.Pittman". Nevada's First Ladies. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Vail M. Pittman". National Governors Association. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Vail M. Pittman". Nevada State Library and Archives. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Vail M. Pittman". Find A Grave. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward P. Carville
Governor of Nevada
1945 – 1951
Succeeded by
Charles H. Russell
Preceded by
Maurice J. Sullivan
Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
1943 – 1945
Succeeded by
Clifford A. Jones