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Norris H. Cotton


In office
November 8, 1954 – December 31, 1974
Preceded by Robert W. Upton
Succeeded by Louis C. Wyman
In office
August 8, 1975 – September 18, 1975
Preceded by Louis C. Wyman
Succeeded by John A. Durkin

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1947 – November 7, 1954
Preceded by Sherman Adams
Succeeded by Perkins Bass

Born May 11, 1900(1900-05-11)
Warren, New Hampshire
Died February 24, 1989 (aged 88)
Lebanon, New Hampshire
Political party Republican
Religion Congregationalist

Norris H. Cotton (May 11, 1900 – February 24, 1989) was an American Republican politician from the state of New Hampshire.

Norris Cotton was born on a farm in Warren, New Hampshire. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. While in college, he served as a clerk to the New Hampshire state senate and as a member of the New Hampshire state Assembly in 1923 as one of the youngest legislators in history. He became a lawyer after attending The George Washington University Law School and practiced law in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He was elected to the state assembly again in 1943. He served as majority leader that year and as speaker during 1945.

In 1946 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from New Hampshire for the first time. He served until 1954 when he ran for a seat in the United States Senate from New Hampshire in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles W. Tobey. He was elected to a full term in 1956, reelected twice and served in the Senate until 1975.

One of his most controversial decisions was his vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which all other senators in Cotton's region of the country voted for. However, Cotton would vote for later civil rights acts like the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. He was a prominent leader of his party in the Senate, chairing the Senate Republican Conference from 1973 to 1975. He did not run for reelection in 1974. Three days before his final term ran out Cotton resigned to allow the governor to appoint Louis C. Wyman.

He was reappointed to the Senate in August 1975 after the election of his successor was contested. The closest Senate election in history, it went through two recounts at the state level, followed by protracted debate on the Senate floor, until both candidates agreed to a special election.[1] Cotton served as a temporary senator until the September 1975 special election, the result of which was not challenged. Cotton returned to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he died at age 88 from natural causes.

The comprehensive cancer center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon is named for Senator Cotton.

The Federal building in Manchester, New Hampshire also bears his name.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sherman Adams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district

1947 – 1954
Succeeded by
Perkins Bass
United States Senate
Preceded by
Robert W. Upton
United States Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
November 8, 1954 – December 31, 1974
Served alongside: Styles Bridges, Maurice J. Murphy, Jr., Thomas J. McIntyre
Succeeded by
Louis C. Wyman
Preceded by
Louis C. Wyman
United States Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
August 8, 1975 – September 18, 1975
Served alongside: Thomas J. McIntyre
Succeeded by
John A. Durkin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Chase Smith
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
1973 – 1974
Succeeded by
Carl Curtis







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