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Howard Cannon

In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by George W. Malone
Succeeded by Chic Hecht

Born January 26, 1912(1912-01-26)
St. George, Utah
Died March 5, 2002 (aged 90)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Political party Democratic
Profession Attorney
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Howard Walter Cannon (January 26, 1912 – March 5, 2002) was an American politician. He served as a United States Senator from Nevada from 1959 until 1983 as a member of the Democratic Party.

Cannon was born in Saint George, Utah. He attended the Arizona state teacher's college and the University of Arizona law school. He became a lawyer in Arizona, Nevada and Utah, being accepted to the bar in all three states. In World War II he served as a bomber pilot in the United States Army Air Corps and its subsequent incarnation as the United States Army Air Forces. Assigned to the European theater, he was shot down over the Netherlands in September 1944 and spent 42 days trying to return to the Allied lines with the assistance of the Dutch underground. Released from active duty in 1946, he joined the Army Air Forces Reserve until 1947 when he transitioned to the Air Force Reserve concurrent with the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service. Continuing to fly in the Air Force Reserve, he achieved command pilot status and ultimately retired from the Air Force Reserve with the rank of Major General. His military decorations included the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal (3 awards).[1]

In 1949 Cannon was elected city attorney of Las Vegas, Nevada and reelected three times. In 1958 he was elected to the United States Senate.

In 1964 Cannon voted for the Civil Rights Act. In the Senate, he was known as a moderate in the Democratic Party. He had an interest in the rules and administration of the Congress, serving as chairman of several committees on that subject, including the rules committee and the inaugural arrangements committee.

Cannon was nearly defeated for reelection in 1964 by Republican Lieutenant Governor Paul Laxalt; only the presence of Lyndon Johnson atop the ticket allowed Cannon to win by 48 votes — one of the closest Senate elections ever. He was reelected with far less difficulty in 1970 and 1976. In 1981, he was the recipient of the Tony Jannus Award for his distinguished contributions to commercial aviation. In 1982, Cannon was narrowly defeated for reelection by Republican Chic Hecht. Cannon retired from politics and died in Las Vegas.



External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
George W. Malone
United States Senator (Class 1) from Nevada
Served alongside: Alan Bible, Paul Laxalt
Succeeded by
Chic Hecht
Political offices
Preceded by
B. Everett Jordan
North Carolina
Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee
Succeeded by
Claiborne Pell
Rhode Island
Preceded by
Warren Magnuson
Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee
Succeeded by
Bob Packwood


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