Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-

Alternative names
Birth 1895-10-23
Death 1975-11-11

Biographical notes:

Businessman, secretary of agriculture, and U.S. senator from New Mexico; d. 1975

From the description of Papers, 1945-1948. (Harry S Truman Library). WorldCat record id: 70939630

Clinton P. Anderson, politician, business proprietor and collector of rare books and documents, born 1895, Centerville, South Dakota, died 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico. U.S. Representative from New Mexico, 1941-45, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1945-48, U.S. Senator from New Mexico, 1949-71.

From the description of Clinton P. Anderson papers, 1848-1975. (University of New Mexico-Main Campus). WorldCat record id: 24149323

Clinton P. Anderson was a Senator from New Mexico and on the Finance Comm. Patricia Carbine was an editor at Look magazine.

From the description of TLS, 1957 February 4 : [Washington, D.C.] to Patricia Carbine / Clinton P. Anderson. (Haverford College Library). WorldCat record id: 54951014

Clinton P. Anderson, politician, business proprietor and collector of rare books and documents, born 1895, Centerville, South Dakota, died 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico. United States Representative from New Mexico, 1941-45, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1945-48, U.S. Senator from New Mexico, 1949-71

From the guide to the Clinton P. Anderson Photographs, 1946-1975, (University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research.)

U.S. senator and representative from New Mexico and U.S. secretary of agriculture; died 1975.

From the description of Papers of Clinton Presba Anderson, 1938-1972 (bulk 1948-1972). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71065846

Biographical Note

  • 1895, Oct. 23: Born, Centerville, S.Dak.
  • 1915 - 1915 : Attended Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, S.Dak.
  • 1915 - 1916 : Attended University of Michigan, Ann. Arbor, Mich.
  • 1916: Returned home to South Dakota to help support his family
  • 1917: Moved to Albuquerque, N.Mex.
  • 1918 - 1922 : Newspaper reporter and editor, Albuquerque, N.Mex.
  • 1921: Married Henrietta McCartney
  • 1922 - 1946 : Started New Mexico Loan and Mortgage Co. (later Clinton P. Anderson Agency) and engaged in general insurance business
  • 1928: Became chairman of New Mexico Democratic Party
  • 1932: President, Rotary International
  • 1933 - 1934 : Treasurer, state of New Mexico
  • 1935: Administrator, New Mexico Relief Administration
  • 1935 - 1936 : Field representative, Federal Emergency Relief Administration
  • 1936 - 1938 : Chairman and executive director, Unemployment Compensation Commission of New Mexico
  • 1939 - 1940 : Managing director, United States Coronado Exposition Commission
  • 1941 - 1945 : Democratic representative from New Mexico, U.S. House of Representative
  • 1945 - 1948 : Secretary of agriculture
  • 1948 - 1973 : U.S. senator from New Mexico
  • 1955 - 1957 : Chairman, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (also chairman from 1959 to 1961)
  • 1963 - 1973 : Chairman, Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences
  • 1970: Published memoir, Outsider in the Senate. New York: World Publishing Co.
  • 1975, Nov. 11: Died, Albuquerque, N.Mex.

From the guide to the Clinton Presba Anderson Papers, 1938-1973, (bulk 1948-1973), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Clinton Presba Anderson, statesman, businessman and rare book collector, was born October 23, 1895 in Centerville, South Dakota. He attended Dakota Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan. A broken back put his father out of work in 1916 and Anderson quit school to help support his family. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Mitchell, South Dakota until he became seriously ill with tuberculosis. Given six months to live, Anderson headed for the favorable climate of New Mexico and arrived in Albuquerque in October 1917. He convalesced at the Methodist Sanitarium where he occasionally wrote for the Herald of the Well Country. When he was well enough to leave the sanitarium, he went to work as a reporter for the Albuquerque Herald. In 1919 he was sent to Santa Fe to cover the legislature. Unimpressed with how the Republican party was running the state, he befriended some Democrats and gave them his ideas on bills before the legislature. Some of those ideas eventually became state law and Anderson began a life long association with the Democratic Party. He became State Chairman in 1928.

His long career of public service began as Executive Secretary of the New Mexico Public Health Association in 1919. There he raised money to fight tuberculosis, established county health programs and was instrumental in founding the state public health department.

In the early 1920s Anderson pursued private business affairs. Newspaper work seemed to offer a poor future, so in 1922 he started in the insurance business of the New Mexico Loan and Mortgage Company. He was soon able to buy the business and change the name to the Clinton P. Anderson Agency, a successful and enduring enterprise. Actively involved in the Rotary Club of Albuquerque since 1919, he was elected to the International Board in 1930 and became president of Rotary International in 1932, a position that introduced him to many business and political contacts.

Anderson returned to public life with an appointment to the State Treasurer's office in 1933. That was followed by appointments as director of the Bureau of Revenue, Relief Administrator for the State of New Mexico, Western States Field Coordinator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, State Director of the National Youth Administration, Chairman of the New Mexico Unemployment Security Division, and Managing Director of the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Commission, among others. It was Anderson's style to take on a newly created position or an emergency situation, organize it, and then leave when he felt that all was running smoothly.

A conflict among members of the state Democratic Party convinced Anderson to run for the House of Representatives in 1940. Utilizing his many business and political contacts throughout the state Anderson won the election. For the next three decades he would divide his time between Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.

Anderson became known for his thorough investigative work and during his three terms in the House, was assigned to several special committees, including the chairmanship of the Special Committee to Investigate Food Shortages in 1945. The committee argued for a streamlined food distribution system and emphasized long-range planning for increasing food production. It was his success in that assignment, along with their personal friendship, that led to his appointment by Harry Truman as Secretary of Agriculture in June 1945.

As Secretary of Agriculture he faced his biggest challenge. The United States faced serious food shortages and much of the rest of the world was starving. Utilizing his organizational skills, Anderson incorporated all existing food and agricultural activities under his office and, in a controversial move, brought in Herbert Hoover to head the Famine Emergency Committee.

U.S. food production and world wide distribution was stabilized by 1948. Anderson considered leaving the Cabinet and retiring from public life altogether. However, state and national representatives of the Democratic Party convinced him to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Carl Hatch. Anderson won the election and went on to serve four full terms as U.S. Senator from New Mexico. He served on the Agriculture Committee, the Interior Committee, the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, the Finance Committee and the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee. The causes that he worked for, often with far reaching results, included water resources and distribution, land conservation and a wilderness preservation system, the peaceful use of nuclear energy and Medicare.

Anderson retired to his home in Albuquerque in 1972 where he pursued his interest in collecting rare books and historic research materials. He died at home on November 11, 1975.

From the guide to the Clinton P. Anderson Papers, 1848-1975, (University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research.)


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