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Berkeley L. Bunker

In office
November 27, 1940 – December 6, 1942
Preceded by Key Pittman
Succeeded by James G. Scrugham

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Nevada's At-Large district
In office
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947
Preceded by Maurice J. Sullivan
Succeeded by Charles H. Russell

Born August 12, 1906(1906-08-12)
Clark County, Nevada
Died January 21, 1999 (aged 92)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Political party Democratic
Profession Insurance

Berkeley Lloyd Bunker (August 12, 1906 – January 21, 1999) was a United States Senator and Representative from Nevada.

Born in what was then St. Thomas, Clark County, Nevada (now a northern arm of Lake Mead), he attended public schools, graduating from Clark County High School in 1926. He then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southeastern United States.[1] After returning from his mission, Bunker married Lucile Whitehead and then entered the tire and oil business in Las Vegas in 1934.

Bunker was a member of the Nevada Assembly from 1936 to 1941, serving as speaker in 1939. On November 27, 1940 he was appointed as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Key Pittman for the term ending January 3, 1941, and also for the term ending January 3, 1947, and served from November 27, 1940 until December 6, 1942 when a duly elected successor qualified. During his time in the Senate Bunker made headlines by accusing Basic Magnesium of having negotiated a contract with the government to get exorbitant profits.[2] He was an unsuccessful candidate for the vacancy in 1942, and engaged in the life-insurance business in Las Vegas.

Bunker was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-ninth Congress (January 3, 1945 - January 3, 1947). In the 1944 race Bunker faced Rex Bell, a former movie actor.[3] In 1946 Bunker introduced a bill to incorporate Boulder City, Nevada removing it from Federal Control, but the bill never made it out of committee.[4] Bunker was not a candidate for renomination in 1946, but was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election to the U.S. Senate, being defeated by George Malone. He was an investment broker and president of a management and equity company. Bunker also became involved in the mortuary business.[1]

Bunker resided in Las Vegas until 1999 when he died and was interred in Bunkers Eden Vale Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was the last living Senator who had served as a Senator during the time FDR was president.

Bunker was a Latter-day Saint.[5] After his time in the senate Bunker served as bishop of one of the LDS wards in Las Vegas.[1] Although Time said he had already served as a bishop before his senate service, this seems to be not based on fact.[2]

Bunker was involved with the building of the Las Vegas Nevada Temple.[1]

There is an elementary school named after Bunker in Las Vegas.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d The First 100 Persons Who Shaped Southern Nevada
  2. ^ a b Anaconda Magnesium - TIME
  3. ^ Politics '99 | Human Events | Find Articles at
  4. ^ KNPB Online: The Nevada Experience: Boulder City
  5. ^ Famous Mormons in Politics
  6. ^ Berkeley L
United States Senate
Preceded by
Key Pittman
United States Senator (Class 1) from Nevada
Served alongside: Pat McCarran
Succeeded by
James G. Scrugham
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Maurice J. Sullivan
United States House of Representatives, Nevada At-Large
Succeeded by
Charles H. Russell
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Joseph H. Ball
Most Senior Living U.S. Senator (Sitting or Former)
December 18, 1993–January 21, 1999
Succeeded by
Russell B. Long




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