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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNebraska

George William NORRIS

(1861-1944)
Senate Years of Service:
1913-1943
Party:
Republican; Independent

NORRIS, George William, a Representative and a Senator from Nebraska; born on a farm near Clyde, Sandusky County, Ohio, on July 11, 1861; attended the district schools, Baldwin University, Berea, Ohio, and the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso; taught school while studying law; graduated from the law department of Valparaiso (Ind.) University in 1883 and was admitted to the bar the same year; continued teaching until he moved to Beaver City, Furnas County, Nebr., in 1885; engaged in the practice of law; county attorney of Furnas County for three terms; district judge of the fourteenth district 1895-1902; moved to McCook, Red Willow County, Nebr., in 1899; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-eighth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1903-March 3, 1913); did not seek renomination in 1912, having become a candidate for Senator; one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1912 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Judge Robert W. Archbald; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1912; reelected in 1918, 1924, and 1930, and as an Independent in 1936, and served from March 4, 1913, to January 3, 1943; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1942; chairman, Committee on the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on Patents (Sixty-sixth Congress), Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (Sixty-seventh through Sixty-ninth Congresses), Committee on the Judiciary (Sixty-ninth through Seventy-second Congresses); known as the “father of the TVA,” the first of that project’s dams was named Norris Dam; retired from public life; died in McCook, Nebr., September 2, 1944; interment in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Lowitt, Richard. George W. Norris: Persistence of a Progressive, 1913-1933. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971; Norris, George. Fighting Liberal: The Autobiography of George W. Norris. 1945. Reprint. New York: Collier Books, 1961.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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