Clifford Hansen, 97, was governor of Wyoming
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Clifford Hansen, a rancher who rode his agricultural background to political success in Cheyenne and Washington, D.C., died Tuesday night. He was 97.
Mr. Hansen, who suffered from ailments including respiratory problems and had returned home Monday after hospital treatment for a broken pelvis, died at his home in Jackson, said his son, Peter.
Mr. Hansen was the nation’s oldest living former senator, as well as a former governor of Wyoming.
“I am sure there are many things that could be said,’’ Peter Hansen said. “He was a wonderful husband, father, and I’m sure other people will say many other things.’’
Mr. Hansen, a Republican, was elected governor in 1962. As governor, he supported lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, increasing retirement pay for state employees, and repealing the state’s ban on accepting federal aid for education.
As his term as governor drew to a close in 1966, Mr. Hansen ran for the Senate, beating Democrat Teno Roncalio.
In the Senate, Mr. Hansen served on the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging. He backed reservoir projects in Wyoming, designating national recreation areas and wilderness areas, and placing a ceiling on federal expenditures.
Mr. Hansen was reelected in 1972 and stepped down in 1978.
He was born Oct. 16, 1912, to Peter and Sylvia Hansen, who homesteaded at Zenith in Jackson Hole.
Mr. Hansen attended public schools in Jackson and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1934 with a degree in animal science.