Sumner Pike

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Sumner T. Pike (1891–1976), served as acting chairman of United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1950.


As a 1913 Bowdoin College graduate, Pike was a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1940 to 1946 and a member of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) from 1946 to 1951.

A Republican from Lubec, Maine,[1] Pike voted at the AEC against the hydrogen bomb on many occasions. Pike became wealthy through the oil business. In 1949, when on the Atomic Energy Commission, he stated that “only a national emergency could justify testing in the United States.” Nevertheless, nuclear bomb testing began in Nevada in 1951.[citation needed]

In 1950, the Joint Atomic Energy Committee of Congress voted five to four (with one Democrat joining the four Republicans on the panel) not to approve of President Harry S. Truman’s nomination of Pike as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, when he was acting as Chairman.[2] Instead, though Pike was renominated and approved as a member, Truman picked Gordon Dean as Chairman.[3]

When he returned to Maine from Washington, D.C., he resisted calls to run for Governor but did serve in the legislature. From 1965-75, Pike was a charter member of the board of the International Campobello Commission, which governed Roosevelt Campobello International Park, serving with Sen. Edmund S. Muskie and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.[1]


  1. ^ a b Two articles by Donald R. Larrabee , one each from Bangor Daily News and Maine Sunday Telegram, entered in CONGRESSIONAL RECORD – SENATE June 10, 1975 Page 18115 by Sen. Edmund Muskie, in Bates College Muskie archives.
  2. ^ "Pike & Pique" Time magazine, Jul. 10, 1950. Retrieved 2-7-09.
  3. ^ "A friendly favor" Time magazine, Jul. 24, 1950. Retrieved 2-7-09.

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