Merrill K. Riddick

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Merrill Keith Riddick (March 7, 1895 - March 9, 1988) was an early aviator. He was three times a United States Presidential candidate for the Puritan Ethic and Epic, Magnetohydrodynamics and Prohibition Party.[1]


He was born on March 7, 1895 in Madison, Wisconsin.[1]

He moved to eastern Montana at the age of 11. His father, Carl W. Riddick, served two terms as a U.S. Congressman for the Eastern District of Montana in 1919 and 1921. At the age of 16 Merrill K. Riddick began traveling throughout the Northwest and became interested in the emerging field of aviation. In 1917, Riddick was a member of the first graduating class from the Army Air Force Aeronautics School in San Diego, California. He was sent to Europe during World War I to serve as an instructor and to fly reconnaissance.

After the war, Riddick was among the first airmail pilots. Riddick and Charles A. Lindbergh barnstormed together and flew in the Harry Perkins Air Circus. While barnstorming Riddick met and married (on the same day) his wife, Helen May Williams, from West Virginia. They had three children. They had three children,Mary Ruth, Keith, and Barbara . In 1928, Riddick was an instructor at the first aviation preparatory school in Rochester, New York, where he instructed future president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Riddick re-joined the Air Force during World War II and served as a technical instructor. He was also a prospector who was involved in many different mining claims prior to and after the war

Riddick moved back to Montana after the war but continued traveling. After his wife's death in 1949, Riddick became involved in politics. He was a resident of Granite County during his political campaigns, which were centered on natural resource management and campaign finance reform. He wrote and published the Journal of Applied Human Ecology, which focused on his plans for resource development. He ran for Montana governor in 1968, U.S. Congress in 1972, and was a presidential candidate in 1976, 1980, and 1984, but never won an election. Riddick ran for his self-created political party, the Magneto-hydrodynamics-Puritan Epic-Prohibition Party, and would not accept campaign contributions. Riddick campaigned across the nation, traveling only by passenger bus. After his presidential campaigns Riddick moved to Annapolis, Maryland, and lived with his sister, Ruth.

Riddick died on March 9, 1988 in Annapolis, Maryland.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Associated Press (March 12, 1988). "Merrill K. Riddick, 93; Politician and Aviator". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-22. Merrill K. Riddick, who campaigned for President three times as the candidate of the Puritan Ethic and Epic, Magnetohydrodynamics and Prohibition Party, died here Wednesday of cancer. He was 93 years old. ... 

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