Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Remembering Calvin Rampton


Dublin Core


Remembering Calvin Rampton


A reflection on the life and long political career of Calvin Rampton, Utah's longest serving governor. 

Rampton was born in Bountiful, attended Davis High School, and then graduated from the University of Utah with bachelors and law degrees. Soon he was working as Davis County Attorney, and after several years arguing cases for the county he became the state's assistant attorney general. At the outbreak of World War II, Rampton temporarily put his political career on hold and signed up to fight in Europe. By war's end he had risen to become chief of the army's claims commission in Paris. When he returned to the states he went back to practicing law and continued in private practice until he was elected governor in 1964.

As governor, Rampton was popular, winning by respectable margins the three times he ran for the state's highest office. His pro-business centrism seemed to appeal to Utah's citizens, Republicans as well as Democrats. Not only did he help create the Utah Travel Council, but he also was instrumental in founding the Utah Police Training Academy and the Governor's Conference on the Arts. He tirelessly promoted the state's industrial development, and worked hard to bring defense contracts to Utah. In his autobiography, titled As I Recall, Rampton gave his assessment of what it means to be a politician. "I believe," he wrote, "that next to the ministry, government service … offers the greatest opportunity for public service to our people … Those who disdain such involvement are doing a disservice to our society."


Brandon Johnson for Utah Humanities © 2007


Image: Suzanne Rosenhan of Murray tells Governor Calvin L. Rampton about the Utah Heart Association and what she knows about the benefits of heart research. Suzanne was operated on for the correction of a congenital heart defect at the age of two. February 23, 1967. Courtesy of Uintah County Library.  

See John S. McCormick’s entry on Rampton in the online Utah History Encyclopedia at www.media.utah.edu/UHE. Also see Thomas G. Alexander, Utah: The Right Place 2d ed. (Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2003), 380-381 and Calvin L. Rampton, As I Recall (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1989).


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