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Warren G. Magnuson

In office
December 14, 1944 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Homer T. Bone
Succeeded by Slade Gorton

In office
January 3, 1979 – December 5, 1980
Preceded by James Eastland
Succeeded by Milton Young
In office
December 5, 1980 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Milton Young
Succeeded by Strom Thurmond

In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1977
Preceded by John W. Bricker
Succeeded by Howard Cannon

In office
1977 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by John Little McClellan
Succeeded by Mark Hatfield

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1937 – December 13, 1944
Preceded by Marion Zioncheck
Succeeded by Emerson DeLacy

Born April 12, 1905
Moorhead, Minnesota
Died May 20, 1989 (aged 84)
Political party Democratic

Warren Grant "Maggie" Magnuson (April 12, 1905–May 20, 1989) was a United States Senator of the Democratic Party from Washington from 1944 until 1981. Upon leaving the Senate, he was the most senior member of the body. Magnuson also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the Washington's 1st congressional district from 1937 to 1944.

Magnuson, who was of Norwegian and Swedish parentage, was born in Moorhead, Minnesota. In 1928 he married Peggins Maddieux, who had won the 1927 "Miss Seattle" beauty contest. Magnuson divorced in 1935 and dated a number of glamorous women, including heiress and cover girl June Millarde and actress Carol Parker. In 1964, he married Jermaine Peralta with whom he remained for the rest of his life.

In 1932 Magnuson was a founding member of The Young Democrats of Washington.[1]

Magnuson served in the Washington State Legislature and as King County Prosecutor. Magnuson was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1936, filling a vacancy caused by the sudden and still mysterious death of fellow Democrat Marion Zioncheck on August 7, 1936. He won re-election in 1938, 1940, and 1942. After the Attack on Pearl Harbor Magnuson was a staunch supporter of the U.S. war effort.[2]

In 1944, Magnuson successfully ran for U.S. Senate. He was appointed on December 14, 1944 to fill the vacancy created by Homer Bone's appointment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, thus resigning from the House and starting his service in the Senate a month early.

Magnuson served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise for several months, seeing heavy combat in the Pacific Theatre until President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all congressmen on active duty to return home.

He was re-elected in 1950, 1956, 1962, 1968, and 1974. He served on the Senate Commerce Committee throughout his tenure in the Senate, and the Senate Appropriations Committee during his final term. Magnuson served most of his tenure in the Senate alongside his friend and Democratic colleague from Washington State, Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson. Magnuson was defeated in a bid for re-election by Slade Gorton in 1980.

At least three important pieces of legislation bear his name: the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943 (commonly referred to as the Magnuson Act), and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. He was also instrumental in keeping supertankers out of Puget Sound, by slipping an amendment to a routine funding reauthorization bill through on the Senate and House consent calendars.[3]

Magnuson was a member of Theta Chi fraternity.


  • The University of Washington's Health Sciences building complex (Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building) was named in his honor in 1970. Magnuson's Senate desk is located in an alcove in the Suzzallo Library graduate reading room.
  • Seattle's Magnuson Park was named in his honor in 1977.
  • The Washington State Democratic Party[4] holds an annual Magnuson awards dinner (sometimes referred to as the Maggies, per his nickname).
  • The Intercollegiate College of Nursing building in Spokane, WA on Fort George Wright Drive near Spokane Falls Community College is also named after him.

Notes and References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Magnuson was instrumental in securing a commission in the U.S. Army for Bob Struble in 1942.
  3. ^, the online encyclopedia of Washington State history. Accessed July 19, 2006
  4. ^ Washington State Democrats

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Marion Zioncheck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st congressional district

January 3, 1937–December 13, 1944
Succeeded by
Emerson DeLacy
United States Senate
Preceded by
Homer T. Bone
United States Senator (Class 3) from Washington
December 14, 1944–January 3, 1981
Served alongside: Monrad C. Wallgren, Hugh B. Mitchell, Harry P. Cain, Henry M. Jackson
Succeeded by
Slade Gorton
Political offices
Preceded by
John W. Bricker
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
1955 – 1977
Succeeded by
Howard Cannon
Preceded by
John L. McClellan
Chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee
Succeeded by
Mark O. Hatfield
Preceded by
James O. Eastland
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
Succeeded by
Milton Young
Preceded by
Milton Young
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
Succeeded by
Strom Thurmond
Honorary titles
Preceded by
James O. Eastland
Dean of the United States Senate
January 3, 1979–January 3, 1981
Succeeded by
John C. Stennis


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