Jake Garn: Wikis


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Jake Garn

In office
December 21, 1974 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Wallace F. Bennett
Succeeded by Robert Foster Bennett

Born October 12, 1932 (1932-10-12) (age 77)
Richfield, Utah
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) 1) Hazel Thompson (deceased)
2) Kathleen Brewerton
Alma mater University of Utah
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Edwin Jacob Garn (born October 12, 1932) is an American politician, a member of the Republican Party, and served as a U.S. Senator representing Utah from 1974 to 1993. Garn became the first sitting member of the United States Congress to fly in space when he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Payload Specialist during NASA mission STS-51-D (April 12–April 19, 1985).

Born in Richfield, Utah, Garn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business and finance from the University of Utah in 1955, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He also attended East High School, Clayton Middle School, and Uintah Elementary School.



Senator Garn is a former insurance executive. He served in the United States Navy as a pilot. He also served as a pilot of the 151st Air Refueling Group of the Utah Air National Guard. As a pilot, he flew the KC-97L Stratotanker and a KC-135A Stratotanker. He retired as a Brigadier General in April 1979. He has flown more than 10,000 hours in military and private civilian aircraft.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Garn served on the Salt Lake City commission for four years and was elected as the mayor in 1971, entering office in 1972. Garn was active in the Utah League of Cities and Towns and served as its president in 1972. In 1974, Garn was the first vice-president of the National League of Cities, and he served as its honorary president in 1975.

Garn was first elected to the Senate in 1974, succeeding retiring Republican Wallace Bennett. Garn was re-elected to a second term in November 1980, receiving 74 percent of the vote, the largest victory in a statewide race in Utah history.

Garn was chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and served on three subcommittees: Housing and Urban Affairs, Financial Institutions, and International Finance and Monetary Policy. He also was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and served as Chairman of the HUD-Independent Agencies Subcommittee. He served on four other Appropriations subcommittees: Energy and Water Resources, Defense, Military Construction, and Interior. Garn served as a member of the Republican leadership from 1979 to 1984 as Secretary of the Republican Conference.

Savings and loan

As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Garn was co-author of the Garn - St Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, the law that deregulated the savings and loan industry and led to the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s.

Space flight experience

Edwin Jacob Garn
Payload Specialist
Born October 12, 1932
Richfield, Utah
Other occupation Pilot, Politician
Rank Brig. General, Air National Guard
Time in space 6 d 23 h 55 m
Missions STS-51-D
Mission insignia Sts-51-d-patch.png

STS-51-D was launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Its primary objective was to deploy two communications satellites, and to perform electrophoresis and echocardiograph operations in space in addition to a number of other experiments. At the conclusion of the mission, Garn had traveled over 2.5 million miles in 108 Earth orbits, logging over 167 hours in space. The spacesickness he experienced during the journey was so severe that a scale for space sickness was jokingly based on him, where "one Garn" is the highest possible level of sickness.[1]

Upon his return, he co-authored a novel entitled Night Launch. The book centers around terrorists taking control of the Space Shuttle Discovery during the first NASA-USSR space shuttle flight. It was first published in 1989, with a paperback edition coming out in 1990.

Personal life

Garn married Hazel Rhae Thompson in 1957. Together, they had four children: Jacob, Susan, Ellen, and Jeffrey. Hazel was killed in a car accident in 1976. Garn was remarried in 1977 to Kathleen Brewerton, who had a son, Brook, from a previous marriage. Jake and Kathleen had two more children, Matthew and Jennifer. Garn has 18 grandchildren: Ryan, Allison, Kirsten, Spencer, Carlie, Hannah, Mckenzie, Daniel, Lauren, Nathan, Caitlin, Savannah, Collin, Erik, Taylor, Summer, Koa, and Abigail.


  1. ^ http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/oral_histories/StevensonRE/RES_5-13-99.pdf, pg 35, Johnson Space Center Oral History Project, interview with Dr. Robert Stevenson:

    "Jake Garn was sick, was pretty sick. I don't know whether we should tell stories like that. But anyway, Jake Garn, he has made a mark in the Astronaut Corps because he represents the maximum level of space sickness that anyone can ever attain, and so the mark of being totally sick and totally incompetent is one Garn. Most guys will get maybe to a tenth Garn, if that high. And within the Astronaut Corps, he forever will be remembered by that."

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
J. Bracken Lee
Mayor of Salt Lake City
1972 – 1974
Succeeded by
Conrad B. Harrison
Preceded by
William Proxmire
Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee
1981 – 1987
Succeeded by
William Proxmire
United States Senate
Preceded by
Wallace F. Bennett
United States Senator (Class 3) from Utah
1974 – 1993
Served alongside: Frank Moss, Orrin Hatch
Succeeded by
Robert F. Bennett
Party political offices
Preceded by
Clifford Hansen
Vice-Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
1979 – 1985
Succeeded by
Thad Cochran


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