John Howard Pyle

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John Howard Pyle
John Howard Pyle (Arizona governor).jpg
9th Governor of Arizona
In office
January 1, 1951 – January 3, 1955
Preceded byDan Edward Garvey
Succeeded byErnest McFarland
Personal details
BornMarch 25, 1906
Sheridan, Wyoming, U.S.
DiedNovember 29, 1987(1987-11-29) (aged 81)
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Lucile Hanna
ProfessionBroadcaster, politician

John Howard Pyle (March 25, 1906 – November 29, 1987) was the ninth governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, serving from 1951 to 1955. He was a Republican. As an opponent of polygamy, he authorized a raid on a Mormon compound. He served as an official in the Eisenhower administration.

Pyle graduated from Arizona State University in 1930 and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He was a program director for a radio station and served as a war correspondent during World War II.


Born in 1906 in Sheridan, Wyoming, Pyle was the first governor of Arizona to be born in the 20th century and was the Program Director of KFAD (now KTAR) Radio in Phoenix from 1930 to 1951. He also served as a war correspondent during World War II and covered the surrender ceremony of the Japanese. Pyle defeated pioneering female politician Ana Frohmiller in his 1950 campaign for governor. He served as Governor of Arizona from 1951 to 1955.[1]

In 1953, he attempted to break up a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon compound in Colorado City, Arizona, in what became known as the Short Creek Raid, which resulted in two dozen men arrested and 236 children placed in foster homes. This move alienated many voters in the state after photographs of tearful children being forcibly removed from their distraught mothers appeared in the newspapers. Later citing the negative reaction by the voters to the Short Creek raid as the cause, Pyle subsequently lost his 1954 re-election bid for a third term to his Democratic opponent, former Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland and left office in January 1955.

After his governorship ended Pyle joined the Eisenhower administration as Deputy Assistant to the President, working primarily as a policy liaison responsible for the Joint Federal-State Action Committee promoting stronger, more responsible local government. He resigned in 1959 to accept an appointment as president of the National Safety Council. Pyle retired in 1953 and returned to his home in Tempe, where he became active in community affairs and authored a popular newspaper column.[2]

He received honorary LL.D. degrees from University of Redlands, Chapman University, Arizona State University, Lebanon College and Bradley University.[3]


The grave site of John Howard Pyle

Pyle died on November 29, 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, survived by his wife, Lucile, and two daughters.and is buried there in the Double Butte Cemetery.


  1. ^ "Pyle, John Howard (1906-1987)". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  2. ^ Obituary
  3. ^ "Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 18, 2012.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Brockett
Republican nominee for Governor of Arizona
1950, 1952, 1954
Succeeded by
Horace B. Griffen
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Edward Garvey
Governor of Arizona
Succeeded by
Ernest W. McFarland