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Frank Carlson

In office
November 29, 1950 – January 3, 1969
Preceded by Harry Darby
Succeeded by Bob Dole

In office
January 13, 1947 – November 28, 1950
Lieutenant Frank L. Hagaman
Preceded by Andrew F. Schoeppel
Succeeded by Frank L. Hagaman

Born January 23, 1893(1893-01-23)
Cloud County, Kansas
Died May 30, 1987 (aged 94)
Concordia, Kansas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Alice Fredrickson
Alma mater Concordia Normal and Business School
Kansas State University
Profession farmer, politician
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1918-1919
Rank Private
Battles/wars World War I

Frank Carlson (January 23, 1893-May 30, 1987) was an American politician who served as the 30th Governor of Kansas and United States Representative and United States Senator from Kansas.


Born in 1893 near Concordia, Kansas, he attended public schools and Kansas State University before serving in World War I as a Private. After the war, he returned to Concordia to farm. He was elected as a Republican to first the Kansas House of Representatives then to the United States House of Representatives where he served from 1935 to 1947.

In 1946 he was elected governor of Kansas. As governor, he pushed mental health programs as well as a long-term highway project. In 1949, Kansas senator Clyde M. Reed died, and Carlson appointed Harry Darby to fill the seat. Darby continued his service in the Senate until Carlson himself was elected to fill the seat in 1950. Instead of waiting until January to be sworn in, he took his seat on November 28, 1950 (it is very common for someone who is elected to a Senate seat that is at the time occupied by an unelected appointee to be sworn in early), leaving the office of governor to Frank L. Hagaman who served less than two months.

In 1952, he campaigned to get fellow Kansan Dwight D. Eisenhower into the White House, and then brokered a deal through Ohio Senator Robert Taft, known as "Mr. Republican" for his leadership of the party's right-wing, became majority leader. According to Billy Graham's biography Just As I Am, Carlson organized the first Presidential Prayer Breakfast, later known as the National Prayer Breakfast. Carlson was re-elected twice, in 1956 and 1962, before returning to Concordia for retirement.

Carlson died in 1987 in Concordia and was buried there in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The federal court building in Topeka is named in his honor, US 81 from Concordia to Salina is named the "Frank Carlson Memorial Highway", the Frank Carlson Library in Concordia is named in his honor, and Wichita State University hosts the Frank Carlson Lecture Series. Carlson is the only Governor of Kansas to have served in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

According to journalist Jeff Sharlet, he is a member of the Family also known as the Fellowship, described by prominent evangelical Christians as one of the most politically well-connected fundamentalist organizations in the US.[1]


  1. ^ Sharlet, Jeff (2008). The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. HarperCollins. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-06-055979-3.  


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