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UW Profiles

Milward Simpson - 1921

Former U.S. Senator and governor of Wyoming

Milward Simpson was born in a log cabin in Jackson, Wyoming, on November 12, 1897, and attended high school in Cody, where he also played professional baseball. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he attended Harvard Law School.

He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I and then was admitted to the bar and joined his father's law practice in Cody in 1926, where he practiced until 1955.

The Republican's first election to political office came in 1926, when he served one term as a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives. Simpson was elected governor of Wyoming in 1955, where he focused on protecting public lands for the use of ranchers and secured the cooperation of the oil industry in cleaning up the Platte River. In 1959, he returned to private law practice.

Simpson returned to politics in 1962, when he was elected U.S. Senator. Although Simpson supported civil rights legislation in the state of Wyoming, he is remembered for voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming that it would allow the federal government to encroach too much on states' rights.

In 1967, Simpson again returned to private law practice in Cody, where he lived until his death in 1993.

Milward Simpson's papers are housed at the American Heritage Center on the UW campus.

Photo courtesy of Wyoming State Archives

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Milward Simpson

Milward Simpson
Milward Simpson was Governor of Wyoming in 1955, and then served as Wyoming Senator in 1962. He was a supporter of civil rights in Wyoming.

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