Frank Brenner Morrison, the former three-term governor of Nebraska, died on April 19 of cancer. He was 98.
Born in Colorado and raised in Kansas, Morrison broke from family tradition and became a Democrat during the Great Depression. He graduated from Kansas State University and the Nebraska College of Law, taught for a short period then entered politics in 1934 as a county attorney. After several unsuccessful bids for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Morrison decided to run for the governorship of Nebraska.
At the time, Nebraska was predominantly a Republican state. But Morrison’s charismatic personality and oratory skills won the voters’ confidence. From 1961 to 1967, the Democratic governor was best known for building the state’s tourism industry. President Lyndon B. Johnson persuaded him to not seek a fourth term and run for the Senate instead. Morrison followed this advice and lost the election.
In later years, Morrison practice law with his son and volunteered as an anti-war activist. He also discussed his opposition to capital punishment in front of the state’s Judicial Committee. His autobiography, “One Man’s Trip Through the 20th Century,” was published in 2001.
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