|United States Senator|
August 6, 1962 – January 3, 1973
|Preceded by||Henry Dworshak|
|Succeeded by||Jim McClure|
|23rd Governor of Idaho|
January 1, 1951 – January 3, 1955
|Lieutenant||Edson H. Deal|
|Preceded by||C. A. Robins|
|Succeeded by||Robert Smylie|
|Member of the Idaho Senate|
Leonard Beck Jordan
May 15, 1899
Mount Pleasant, Utah, U.S.
|Died||June 30, 1983 (aged 84)|
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
|Resting place||Cloverdale Memorial Park, Boise|
|Spouse||Grace Edgington Jordan (m. 1924–1983)|
|Education||University of Oregon|
|Years of service||1917–1919|
|Unit||(machine gun company)|
|Battles/wars||World War I (stateside)|
Early life and education
Born in Mount Pleasant, Utah, Jordan's father was a county judge and his mother was a schoolteacher; the family relocated to northeast Oregon and he was educated in the public schools of Enterprise, the seat of Wallowa County.
From a large family, Jordan worked on a ranch then enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 18 in 1917. After two years in the service, he attended the University of Oregon in Eugene on a football scholarship, and was a 175-pound (79 kg) halfback for the Webfoots. Jordan graduated in 1923, and was awarded a key to Phi Beta Kappa. He married classmate Grace Edington on December 30, 1924.
Jordan was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I, but did not serve overseas. After college, he was a sheep rancher in Hells Canyon in Idaho during the Great Depression at Kirkwood Bar, and then settled in Grangeville in 1940, where he established a farm implement business, a real estate agency, and an automobile dealership.
Jordan was elected to the Idaho Senate in 1946 but lost his seat in 1948.
During his four-year term, slot machines were banned; employment, unemployment, and job training services were merged; and the state highway commission was initiated. Jordan did not run for re-election in 1954 because it was not allowed at the time. Starting with the 1946 election, Idaho changed from two-year to four-year terms for governor, but disallowed self-succession (re-election). Jordan's successor as governor was the former attorney general, Robert Smylie, who successfully lobbied the 1955 legislature to propose an amendment to the state constitution to allow gubernatorial re-election, which was approved by voters in the 1956 general election. (Smylie was re-elected in 1958 and 1962, and sought a fourth term in 1966, but was defeated in the primary.)
U.S. Senate career
Appointment and special election of 1962
In August 1962, Jordan was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Smylie, following the death of Henry Dworshak in July. In November, Jordan defeated Democratic congresswoman Gracie Pfost of Nampa in the special election to complete the remaining four years of the term.
Election of 1966
In the Senate, Jordan helped Frank Church establish the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in 1972, and voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also voted in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment.
In August 1971, Jordan announced that he would not seek re-election in 1972, and was succeeded by Jim McClure, the three-term Republican congressman from the first district. At age 73, Jordan was the first from Idaho to voluntarily retire from the U.S. Senate.
|1950||Calvin Wright||97,150||47.4%||Len B. Jordan||107,642||52.6%|
|1962||Gracie Pfost||126,398||49.1%||Len B. Jordan (inc.^)||131,279||50.9%|
|1966||Ralph Harding||112,637||44.6%||Len B. Jordan (inc.)||139,819||55.4%|
- Source: ^ Jordan was appointed to the vacant seat in August 1962
Legacy and death
A state office building in Boise, near the state capitol, was named for him in December 1973. Jordan died at age 84 in Boise on June 30, 1983, and his wife died two years later. They are interred at Cloverdale Memorial Park in west Boise.
Daughter Patricia (1927–2010) married Charles F. Story, Jr. (1926–2014) of Spokane in 1951;  and they later lived in Boise. Eldest son Joseph (1929–2015) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in 1952 and served three years in the U.S. Army. He went to graduate school in civil engineering at Iowa State University in Ames and was a district vice president with Morrison-Knudsen in Alaska. Youngest son Stephen (1932–2015) graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow in 1955 in mechanical engineering, and worked for General Electric.
- "Len Jordan, a former Senator". New York Times. Associated Press. July 2, 1983. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- Edwards, Willard (November 3, 1963). "Sen. Len Jordan got start on sheep ranch in Idaho". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. (Chicago Tribune Press Service). p. 22.
- Washington (October 3, 1952). "Vandals seeking upset win". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 11.
- "Leonard B. Jordan". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
- "Kirkwood Historical Ranch". Idaho: Grangeville Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- "Historical Kirkwood Ranch on the Snake River". Idaho: White Bird Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- "Republicans score smashing victories: Jordan wins Idaho governorship". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 8, 1950. p. 1.
- "Republicans rack up almost clean sweep of Idaho candidates". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 9, 1950. p. 1.
- "Leonard B. Jordan". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
- "Idaho voters adopt three amendments". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 7, 1956. p. 1.
- Corlett, John (March 31, 1963). "It's mystery why law barring self-succession not repealed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 5.
- "Jordan named Senator". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 7, 1962. p. 1.
- "Jordan sworn in as Senator". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 8, 1962. p. 1.
- "Smylie, Church, White win; Jordan leads". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 7, 1962. p. 1.
- "Jordan-Pfost race results". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. November 8, 1962. p. 2.
- "Gem State swept by GOP". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. November 9, 1966. p. 1.
- "HR. 7152. PASSAGE".
- "TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN SALE OR RENTAL OF HOUSING, AND TO PROHIBIT RACIALLY MOTIVATED INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON EXERCISING HIS CIVIL RIGHTS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES".
- "TO PASS S. 1564, THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965".
- "CONFIRMATION OF NOMINATION OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, THE FIRST NEGRO APPOINTED TO THE SUPREME COURT". GovTrack.us.
- "TO PASS H.J. RES. 208. -- Senate Vote #533 -- Mar 22, 1972".
- "Jordan will not seek another Senate term". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 25, 1971. p. 1.
- "Former Idaho governor dies". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). UPI. July 1, 1983. p. A6.
- "Office of the Clerk: Election statistics". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- "Five governors to attend dedication". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 25, 1973. p. 5.
- "Building dedicated to Len Jordan". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 28, 1973. p. 3.
- Kenyon, Quayne (July 22, 1977). "Jordan building may remain unfinished". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. p. 3C.
- "Former governor of Idaho Len Jordan dead at 84". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. July 1983. p. 1.
- "Miss Jordan weds Story". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. July 2, 1951. p. 10.
- "Joseph Leonard Jordan". Idaho Statesman. Boise. January 31, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- "Seniors: Engineering". Gem of the Mountains. University of Idaho. 1955. p. 254.
- "Stephen Edgington Jordan". The News Guard. Lincoln City, Oregon. May 20, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- United States Congress. "Leonard B. Jordan (id: J000269)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Jordan's Congressional papers, 1962–1972 are housed at Albertsons Library, Boise State University
- Len Jordan Digital Collection Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine features photographs of his career as Governor of Idaho from 1950 to 1954 and United States Senator from 1962 to 1973
- National Governors Association
- You Tube video - Kirkwood Bar in Hells Canyon
- Leonard B. Jordan at Find a Grave