Donald H. Clausen

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Donald Clausen
DonClausen Official Portrait.png
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California
In office
January 22, 1963 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byClement W. Miller
Succeeded byDouglas H. Bosco (Redistricting)
Constituency1st District (1963-1975)
2nd District (1975-1983)
Personal details
Donald Holst Clausen

(1923-04-27)April 27, 1923
Ferndale, California, U.S.
DiedFebruary 7, 2015(2015-02-07) (aged 91)
Fortuna, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jessie Oleva Piper
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Navy
Battles/warsPacific Theater, World War II

Donald Holst "Don" Clausen (April 27, 1923 – February 7, 2015) was a U.S. Representative from California.


Born in Ferndale, California, Clausen graduated from elementary and high schools of Ferndale,[1] where he was an honors student and lettered five sports: tennis, track, basketball, football and baseball as well as being the drum major of the school band.[2]

He attended San José State University, California Polytechnic State University (in San Luis Obispo, California), Weber State University (in Ogden, Utah), and Saint Mary's College of California.[1] He took part in the U.S. Navy V5 Aviation Cadet Program. He served as a carrier pilot in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of the Second World War from 1944 to 1945,[1] flying F4U Corsair aircraft.[2] Post-war, Clausen helped found the Del Norte County Airport,[2] and served as a member of the board of supervisors of Del Norte County, California from 1955 to 1962.[1] He ran two companies in Crescent City, his insurance business, Clausen Associates, and Clausen Flying Service, an air ambulance service, and it was from Crescent City that he served Congress.[1]

Clausen was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Clement Woodnutt Miller (who had been re-elected posthumously), and to the nine succeeding Congresses (January 22, 1963 – January 3, 1983).[1]

Clausen authored the bill creating the Lady Bird Johnson Grove in the Redwood National Park.[2] Former president Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, sitting president Richard Nixon, and future president Ronald Reagan and many other federal and local dignitaries attended the dedication of the grove.[2] Clausen said that this was his proudest accomplishment.[2]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Ninety-eighth Congress in 1982, narrowly losing to Democrat Douglas H. Bosco.[1] He served as director, special programs, Federal Aviation Administration from 1983 to 1990 and was a resident of Santa Rosa, California after his Congressional tenure ended.[1]

The Don Clausen Fish Hatchery in Sonoma County[3] was named in his honor and the Redwood National Park Bypass on US Highway 101 was renamed the Don Clausen Highway in 1996 by act of the California Legislature due to his efforts at obtaining appropriations for building that road and the Redwood National Park Visitor Center.[4]

Clausen died in a hospital on February 7, 2015 in Fortuna, California, from complications of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart and lung disease.[5][6] His congressional papers are archived at Humboldt State University library.[7]

A building at the Del Norte County Airport is one of the many sites dedicated to Clausen.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Clausen, Donald Holst, (1923 - ), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, accessed April 20, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f Retired congressman from Ferndale to celebrate 90th birthday April 27, The Ferndale Enterprise, April 18, 2013
  3. ^ Lake Sonoma, Parks and Recreation in Sonoma County, accessed April 20, 2013
  4. ^ Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 92--Relative to the Don Clausen Highway, June 10, 1996
  5. ^
  6. ^ GUY KOVNER (February 9, 2015). "Longtime lawmaker Don Clausen dies at 91". Press Democrat. Retrieved February 9, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Don H. Clausen Congressional Papers, 2010, accessed April 20, 2013
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clement Woodnutt Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Harold T. Johnson
Preceded by
Harold T. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Eugene A. Chappie

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website