Frank B. Morrison
|Frank B. Morrison|
Gov. Frank Morrison, 1961
|31st Governor of Nebraska|
January 5, 1961–January 5, 1967
|Lieutenant||Dwight W. Burney
Philip C. Sorensen
|Preceded by||Dwight W. Burney|
|Succeeded by||Norbert T. Tiemann|
|Born||Frank Brenner Morrison
May 20, 1905
Golden, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||April 19, 2004
McCook, Nebraska, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kansas State University|
Morrison was born in Golden, Colorado, and attended high school in Manhattan, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1927. Accepting an invitation from an aunt, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska and earned a law degree in 1931. He taught school, was superintendent of schools in Farwell, Nebraska before establishing his legal career in Stockville, Nebraska. He was elected Frontier County attorney in 1934. He married Maxine Elizabeth Hepp in 1936 and they had three children, Frank Jr, David Jon, and Jean Marie.
Morrison was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1940, and chair of the Frontier County Democratic Party the same year.
He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives twice in 1948 and 1954. He ran for United States Senate in 1958, 1966 and 1970 but lost all three elections. He lost to Roman L. Hruska in 1958 and 1970 while in 1966 he lost to Carl T. Curtis.
Morrison secured the Democratic nomination for Governor of Nebraska and won the general election in 1960. He won reelection in 1962 and also in 1964. During his governorship, he worked to improve the University, particularly the scientific research and the agricultural departments, a state employees' retirement plan was initiated, a state income tax was sanctioned, and the state's accounting system was restructured. He signed legislation for Educational Television which led to the establishment of the statewide public television network, an act he said was his most important.
After leaving office, Morrison was appointed in 1968 as food consultant for the Agency for International Development in India. From 1971 to 1974 he was the Douglas County public defender.
Death and legacy
Morrison was the driving force behind the construction of the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska. A bust of his face can be seen at the entrance to the monument. The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument gained fame by being featured in the movie About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson. On July 16, 2000, he dedicated the 50,000 square-foot building that arches over Interstate 80.
Morrison wrote an autobiography, My Journey Through the Twentieth Century in 2001. Politically, he was a traditional Democrat. He was a confidant of both Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy, and was summoned to the White House immediately after JFK was assassinated. His son, Frank B. Morrison, Jr. (1937–2006) was a justice on the Montana Supreme Court. His grandson, John Morrison, is a former State Auditor of Montana and was a 2006 Senate candidate.
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Dwight W. Burney
|Governor of Nebraska
Norbert T. Tiemann