Alan Bible

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Alan Bible
Alan Harvey Bible.jpg
United States Senator
from Nevada
In office
December 2, 1954 – December 17, 1974
Preceded by Ernest S. Brown
Succeeded by Paul Laxalt
20th Attorney General of Nevada
In office
January 4, 1943 – January 8, 1951
Preceded by Gray Mashburn
Succeeded by William T. Mathews
Personal details
Born (1909-11-20)November 20, 1909
Lovelock, Nevada, U.S.
Died September 12, 1988(1988-09-12) (aged 78)
Auburn, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Profession Attorney

Alan Harvey Bible (November 20, 1909 – September 12, 1988) was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Senator from Nevada from 1954 to 1974. He previously served as Attorney General of Nevada from 1942 to 1950.

Early life and education[edit]

Alan Bible was born in Lovelock, Nevada, to Jacob Harvey and Isabel (née Welsh) Bible.[1] His family was originally from Germany, and settled in Virginia; Bible's grandfather moved to Ohio before the Civil War and subsequently fought with the Union Army.[2] His father operated a grocery store and a cattle ranch outside of Lovelock, while his mother worked as a schoolteacher.[2] The family lived on their ranch until 1919, when a fire destroyed their home.[1] They then moved to Fallon, where Bible attended Oak Park Grammar School and Churchill County High School.[1] During high school, he was active in debating and served as president of the freshman and senior classes.[2]

Bible then studied at the University of Nevada in Reno, from where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1930.[3] He joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in his sophomore year, and became class treasurer and assistant editor of The Sagebrush in his junior year.[1] In 1934, Bible earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C.[3] While studying in Washington, he was given a job as an elevator operator in the Capitol Building by Senator Pat McCarran.[4]

Early career[edit]

Bible was admitted to the Nevada bar in 1935 and joined Senator McCarran's law firm in Reno.[1] Six months later, he was appointed district attorney of Storey County, a position he held for three years.[3] He became active in the affairs of the Democratic Party, organizing a chapter of the Young Democrats and helping select delegates to the state Democratic Committee.[1] He also became a prominent member of the political machine run by Senator McCarran. From 1938 to 1942, he served as deputy Attorney General of Nevada.[3]

In 1939, Bible married Loucile Shields; the couple had one daughter, Debra, and three sons, Paul, William, and David.[4] He was elected Attorney General of Nevada in 1942, defeating Republican candidate John Rolly Ross by more than 7,000 votes.[2] During his tenure, he strengthened the state's power to regulate the gambling industry and became an expert in water law.[2] He served as attorney general until 1950, when he returned to private practice.[3]

U.S. Senate[edit]

In 1952, Bible was narrowly defeated for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate, losing to political newcomer Thomas B. Mechling by 475 votes.[4] However, after the death of Senator McCarran in September 1954, Bible was elected to the Senate the following November to fill the remainder of McCarran's term.[3] He defeated Republican Ernest S. Brown, who had been appointed to McCarran's seat by Governor Charles H. Russell, by a margin of 58%-42%.[5]

He was reelected in 1956, 1962, and again in 1968 and represented Nevada in the United States Senate from December 2, 1954, until his resignation on December 17, 1974.[6] At this time, Senator Bible was elected to the Board of Directors of Bally Manufacturing Corporation.[7]

During his time in the United States Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia (Eighty-fifth through Ninetieth Congresses), the Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems (Eighty-fifth and Eighty-sixth Congresses), and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Small Business (Ninety-first through Ninety-third Congresses). He is buried in Reno, Nevada.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Elliot, Gary E. (1994). Senator Alan Bible and the Politics of the New West. Reno: University of Nevada Press. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Davies, Richard O. (1999). The Maverick Spirit: Building the New Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "BIBLE, Alan Harvey, (1909 - 1988)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  4. ^ a b c Narvaez, Alfonso A. (1988-09-14). "Former Senator Alan Bible, 78; Nevadan Was Advocate of Parks". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1954" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 
  6. ^ Elliott, Gary (1994). Senator Alan Bible and the politics of the new West, University of Nevada Press, p. xi. ISBN 0-87417-240-3
  7. ^ Bally Manufacturing Corporation annual Report & Proxy Statement dated 1975.

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Ernest S. Brown
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Nevada
December 2, 1954 – December 17, 1974
Served alongside: George W. Malone, Howard Cannon
Succeeded by
Paul Laxalt
Political offices
Preceded by
George Smathers
Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee
Succeeded by
Gaylord Nelson