Robert Docking

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Docking
38th Governor of Kansas
In office
January 9, 1967 – January 13, 1975
LieutenantJohn Crutcher
James H. DeCoursey, Jr.
Reynolds Schultz
Dave Owen
Preceded byWilliam H. Avery
Succeeded byRobert F. Bennett
Mayor of Arkansas City, Kansas
In office
Personal details
Robert Blackwell Docking

(1925-10-09)October 9, 1925
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedOctober 8, 1983(1983-10-08) (aged 57)
Merriam, Kansas, U.S.
Resting placeHighland Park Cemetery
Kansas City, Kansas
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMeredith Marina Gear
ChildrenWilliam, Tom
ParentGeorge Docking
Alma materUniversity of Kansas
ProfessionBanker, Oilman, Politician
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Robert Blackwell Docking (October 9, 1925 – October 8, 1983) was an American politician who served as the 38th governor of Kansas from 1967 until 1975.

Early life[edit]

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Docking attended public school in Lawrence, Kansas, before attending the University of Kansas, and served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, Docking moved to Arkansas City, Kansas, where he became a successful banker, and was elected mayor.

Political career[edit]

Docking was elected governor in 1966 as a member of the Democratic Party over the incumbent Republican, William Avery, whom Docking harangued for leaving the state when there was work to be done in Kansas. Docking served more terms than any other Kansas governor, but is tied for length of service because of a constitutional amendment approved during his final term which provided that Kansas governors serve four-year terms, and are constitutionally prohibited from running for more than two terms. He was known for his commitment to farmers, small business owners, and the environment.

The son of former Gov. George Docking (1957–1961), he was married to Meredith and they had two sons, William and Tom, the latter of whom served as lieutenant governor and ran unsuccessfully for the governorship in 1986. After his service as governor, Docking resumed his former profession of banking in Arkansas City. He donated his papers to the University of Kansas rather than give them to the Kansas State Historical Society, where the papers of his 34 predecessors are stored, with the exception of his father, who burned his gubernatorial papers.

Death and legacy[edit]

He died of emphysema in 1983 in Merriam, Kansas, the day before his 58th birthday, and is interred in Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas, in a plot adjoining his parents'.

A state office building across the street from the capital in Topeka, Kansas, bears his name, and his bank in Arkansas City (Union State Bank), which is still owned by the Dockings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, the entire length of U.S. Route 77 in Cowley County, Kansas (which contains Arkansas City) is known as the Robert B. Docking Memorial Highway.

His son, Thomas Docking, was Lt. Governor of Kansas during the tenure of John Carlin as governor.

His daughter-in-law, and Thomas' wife, Jill Docking, was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee to succeed Bob Dole in the 1996 U.S. Senate election, losing to Sam Brownback. She was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the 2014 elections (Paul Davis was the gubernatorial candidate and her running mate).

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Harry G. Wiles
Democratic nominee for Governor of Kansas
1966, 1968, 1970, 1972
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Kansas
Succeeded by