Daniel J. Evans

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Daniel J. Evans
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
September 8, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Appointed byJohn Spellman
Preceded byScoop Jackson
Succeeded bySlade Gorton
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
June 3, 1973 – June 2, 1974
Preceded byMarvin Mandel
Succeeded byCal Rampton
16th Governor of Washington
In office
January 11, 1965 – January 12, 1977
LieutenantJohn Cherberg
Preceded byAlbert Rosellini
Succeeded byDixy Lee Ray
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
Preceded byR. Mort Frayn
Succeeded byNewman H. Clark
Personal details
Daniel Jackson Evans

(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925 (age 94)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Nancy Bell (m. 1959)
EducationUniversity of Washington, Seattle (BS, MS)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1943–1946
Battles/warsWorld War II

Daniel Jackson Evans (born October 16, 1925) is an American civil engineer and former politician who served three terms as the 16th Governor of the State of Washington from 1965 to 1977, and as United States Senator represented Washington State from 1983 to 1989.[1]

Evans was seriously considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1968 and 1976. At the 1968 Republican National Convention (where he gave the keynote address) Evans refused to endorse Richard Nixon for the presidential nomination, remaining a supporter of the unsuccessful candidacy of Nelson Rockefeller.[2]

Early life[edit]

Evans was born in Seattle, Washington (where he has lived as of 2007),[1] descended from a family that had first arrived in the Washington Territory in 1859; his grandfather had served in one of Washington's first state senates. He grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood and attended Roosevelt High School.[3]

As a young man, Evans was an Eagle Scout,[4] and served as a staff member and Hike Master at Camp Parsons, a well known Boy Scout camp in Washington State. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

After high school, he served in the United States Navy 1943–1946.[1] He first entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program and was stationed at the University of Washington (UW), but was transferred eight months later to an ROTC program at University of California, Berkeley. He did not see combat; he was deployed to the Pacific shortly after the end of World War II as a commissioned ensign on a succession of aircraft carriers, before returning to UW in 1946.[3]

Evans graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in civil engineering (BS, 1948, MS, 1949);[1][3] the UW later (in 2007) gave him the distinction of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignitatus, the highest distinction the university confers on its graduates.[3] He returned to the United States Navy (1951–1953)[1] before working as a structural engineer[1][3] (1953–1956); in the latter capacity, he helped draw up the plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.[3]

Political career[edit]

Having attended Toastmasters to improve his initially abysmal public speaking style,[2] Evans served in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1956 to 1965 before being elected governor.[1]

Evans during his tenure as governor

Despite being a Republican and a self-styled conservative, Evans became known for his administration's liberal policies on environmental protection (he founded the country's first state-level Department of Ecology, which became Nixon's blueprint for the federal EPA) and strong support of the state's higher education system, including founding Washington's system of community colleges. He fought unsuccessfully for a state income tax.[4]

Evans served as governor from 1965 until 1977,[1] still the only governor to serve three four-year consecutive terms and the second to be elected to three terms after Arthur B. Langlie in Washington state history. A 1981 University of Michigan study named him one of the ten outstanding American governors of the 20th century.[4] He declined to run for a fourth term.[5] Serial killer Ted Bundy served as a campaign aide for Evans and maintained a close relationship with the Governor. During the 1972 campaign, Bundy followed Evans's Democratic opponent around the state, tape recording his speeches and reported back to Evans personally. A minor scandal later followed when the Democrats found out about Bundy, who had been posing as a college student.[citation needed]

From 1977 to 1983 Evans served as the second president of The Evergreen State College in Olympia,[1] which Evans had created in 1967 by signing a legislative act authorizing the formation of the college. The largest building on the Evergreen campus is named the Daniel J. Evans Library in his honor.[6] In 1983, Governor John Spellman appointed Evans to the United States Senate to fill a seat left vacant by the death of longtime senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson. Evans won a special election later that year against Mike Lowry and filled the remainder of Jackson's unexpired term, retiring from politics after the 1988 elections.[1][7] He was not happy as a U.S. Senator; he wrote an April 1988 piece in The New York Times Magazine, "Why I'm Quitting the Senate", in which he complained of "bickering and protracted paralysis".[4]

Later life[edit]

After leaving the Senate in 1989, Evans founded his own consulting firm, Daniel J. Evans Associates.[1] Governor Mike Lowry appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University of Washington in 1993; Evans served as the board's president from 1996 to 1997,[1] and in 1999 the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University was named for him. Evans also went on to work in media doing an editorial weekly on the KIRO-TV newscasts from the early to mid 1990s. Evans is a director of the Initiative for Global Development.[8]

Wilderness Preservation Efforts[edit]

Evans was a Boy Scout whose early experiences hiking in the Olympic Mountains nurtured a lifelong love of wilderness. [9] Throughout his career, Evans has proven his dedication to the great outdoors in Washington State through his action. [10]

Evans was a crucial supporter in 1968 when Congress created the North Cascades National Park. The then-governor persuaded President Gerald Ford to sign 1976 legislation creating the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, when the U.S. Forest Service was urging a veto. [9]

As a U.S. senator, Evans sponsored the million-acre Washington Park Wilderness Act, and legislation creating the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. [11] [12]

In 1989 Evans co-founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition with Mike Lowry. [10]

In 2017, Olympic Wilderness was renamed to Daniel J. Evans Wilderness in honor of Evans. [9]

Statewide races in Washington[edit]

U.S. Senate election, 1983

Washington gubernatorial election, 1972

Washington gubernatorial election, 1968

Washington gubernatorial election, 1964


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Congressional Biography, accessed online August 13, 2007.
  2. ^ a b McHenry 2007, p. 24–25.
  3. ^ a b c d e f McHenry 2007, p. 24.
  4. ^ a b c d McHenry 2007, p.25.
  5. ^ "Evans' man followed Rosy". Ellensburg Daily Record. UPI. August 30, 1973. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Evergreen State College Library". web.archive.org. November 14, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sen. Evans won't seek re-election". The San Bernardino County Sun. San Bernardino, CA. AP. October 21, 1987. Retrieved November 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ "Leadership Council | Initiative for Global Development". Igdleaders.org. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "'A fitting tribute': Olympic Wilderness renamed for longtime outdoors advocate, former Gov. Dan Evans". Seattle Times. August 21, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Board and Committees". Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  11. ^ "S.2165 - Washington Park Wilderness Act of 1988". U.S. Congress. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "S.2055 - Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act". U.S. Congress. Retrieved December 29, 2019.


  • Eric McHenry, "Engineer of Change", Columns (the University of Washington alumni magazine), June 2007, p. 22–26.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Lloyd J. Andrews
Republican nominee for Governor of Washington
1964, 1968, 1972
Succeeded by
John Spellman
Preceded by
Mark Hatfield
Keynote Speaker of the Republican National Convention
Succeeded by
Anne Armstrong
Preceded by
Doug Jewett
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Washington
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Slade Gorton
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Rosellini
Governor of Washington
Succeeded by
Dixy Lee Ray
Preceded by
Marvin Mandel
Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
Cal Rampton
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Scoop Jackson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Washington
Served alongside: Slade Gorton, Brock Adams
Succeeded by
Slade Gorton