Magnuson, Warren G. (Warren Grant), 1905-1989

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Warren Grant Magnuson (b. April 12, 1905, Moorhead, Minn.-d. May 20, 1989, Seattle, Wash.), a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the State of Washington, graduated from the University of Washington law school in 1929 and served in several local and state-wide political posts until 1936 when he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Congress. During the Second World War he served in the U.S. Navy attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. He was a member of the Senate from 1944 to 1981, serving as President pro tempore and on several key committees including Commerce and Appropriations.

From the description of Magnuson, Warren Grant, 1905-1989 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10580529

Introduction

Born in 1905 and adopted by a Swedish family in Moorehead, Minnesota, Warren Magnuson moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. He began practicing law soon after he graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1929. His early positions included Executive Secretary of the Seattle Municipal League, Special Prosecuting Attorney for King County, Assistant U.S. District Attorney and attorney to the Washington Emergency Relief Administration. Magnuson, a Democrat, began his political career in the Washington State House of Representatives during the 1933 legislative session. In 1934 he was elected King County Prosecuting Attorney, an office he held until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the First District in 1936. During his tenure in the House, Congressman Magnuson served on the Naval Affairs Committee and the Alaska International Highway Commission. A naval reservist before World War II, Magnuson spent several months on active duty in 1942.

In 1944 Magnuson was a successful candidate, for the Senate. He assumed his Senate seat early when his predecessor, Homer T. Bone, resigned shortly before the end of his term, thereby giving Magnuson seniority over other newly elected Senators.

Warren Magnuson was best known throughout his long Congressional career for his championship of consumer and health legislation. Appointed to the Commerce Committee in 1945, he became chair of that committee in 1955 after the Democrats took control of the Senate. Consumer protection legislation was an important part of the Commerce Committee's agenda throughout Magnuson's 23 years as chairman. In 1966 a separate Consumer Subcommittee was created and Magnuson served as its chairman also. His accomplishments were recognized by the National Consumer's League when, in 1977, they presented Magnuson with their Trumpeter Award for outstanding achievements in consumer protection. Magnuson co-authored a 1968 book, The Dark Side of the Market Place which attempted to raise public awareness of the need for consumer safeguards.

Magnuson was also an advocate of government support for scientific research in the years following World War II. In 1945 he introduced a bill which, when finally signed into law in 1950, created the National Science Foundation. As a freshman Congressman Magnuson sponsored legislation in the House which created the country's first tax-supported research center, The National Cancer Institute. This bill marked the beginning of a career-long dedication to governmental support of biomedical research and education, which he continued through his 1948 sponsorship of a bill to create the National Institutes of Health, and expanded in the 91st Congress, when he assumed the chairmanship of the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding health, labor and education programs. In 1973 Magnuson was the recipient of the Albert Lasker Public Service in Health award.

A member of the Appropriations Committee since 1945, Magnuson assumed its chairmanship in 1978 and resigned as chair of the Commerce Committee. In 1979 he was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate, reflecting his status as most senior member of the Senate.

Other issues which concerned Magnuson throughout his career were civil rights, particularly through his authorship of the public accommodations section of the 1964 civil rights act; environmental protection, including ports and waterways safety and supertanker regulation; and improvement of public power and irrigation systems in the Northwest.

House of Representatives, 1937-1944

Warren Magnuson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1936, to the seat from the First District left vacant by the death of Marion Zioncheck. Magnuson took office January 3, 1937 and was re-elected by increasing majorities in 1938, 1940, and 1942. In 1944 he was a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate after Homer T. Bone decided not to seek re-election.

As a Congressman Magnuson served on the Naval Affairs Committee and chaired several of its subcommittees. His responsibilities in Naval matters grew quickly. Magnuson fought for the expansion of the Navy before Pearl Harbor and was instrumental in the building of the Bremerton Naval Shipyards, and in bringing most of West Coast ship building to Puget Sound. He also chaired a Naval Affairs Aviation subcommittee and the Guadalcanal Investigation subcommittee, which investigated the merchant marines' refusal to work.

Magnuson's other committee assignments included the Select Committee on Post War Military Policy and the Special Committee to Investigate the Federal Communications Commission. He was also a member of the Alaska Highway Commission and its chairman from 1938-1944.

Magnuson's first bill as a freshman Congressman was the Bone-Magnuson Cancer Control Act of 1937, which created the National Cancer Institute. He also lent his support to public power projects, sponsored the General Welfare Act and introduced legislation which successfully repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Magnuson was a naval reservist before his election to Congress and after the Pearl Harbor attack immediately volunteered for active duty. Within a few weeks he was aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise in the Pacific with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After six months active duty, Magnuson was ordered back to Congress by the President and the Secretary of the Navy.

Senate, 1944-1980

Warren G. Magnuson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1944 to fill the seat being vacated by Homer T. Bone. Bone then resigned his seat in December 1944. Magnuson was appointed by Governor Langlie to serve out the remaining days of Bone's term; this gave Magnuson seniority over other freshman senators.

Magnuson was perhaps best known throughout his long legislative career for his championship of consumer and health affairs legislation. Appointed to the Commerce Committee in 1945, he became chair of that committee in 1954 when the Democrats gained the majority of the Senate. The Committee had responsibility for legislation pertaining to the regulation of interstate commerce and transportation, communications and consumer protection. Under Magnuson's leadership numerous landmark consumer bills were passed in this period including the Flammable Fabrics Act (1953, 1967), the Hazardous Substances Act (1960), the Child Protection Act (1966), the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (1966), the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (1966) and the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (1966). Magnuson chaired the Commerce Committee for 23 years, until 1978 when he became chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Magnuson lost his seat in the Senate to Slade Gorton in the 1980 general election. At the beginning of the period covered in these papers, Magnuson became chair of the Labor-Health, Education and Welfare Subcommittee (later: Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee) of the Appropriations Committee. He continued as chair of the Commerce Committee until 1978 when he relinquished that role in order to chair the full Appropriations Committee.

His positions on these two powerful committees enabled Magnuson to exert considerable influence in the areas of health care and consumer protection, major interests throughout his career. Examples of legislative accomplishments from this period include the National Health Service Corps, Children's Catastrophic Health Care Act, the Child Protection and Toy Safety Act, Poison Prevention Packaging Act, Consumer Product Safety Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act.

The long years of dedicated service in these legislative areas became formally recognized during this period. In 1979 Warren G. Magnuson was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The position marked his status as the most senior member of the United States Senate. In 1973 he was awarded the prestigious Albert D. Lasker Public Service Award for leadership in health, and in 1977 he received the National Consumers League Trumpeter Award for outstanding achievements in consumer protection. In November 1978 the University of Washington's Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center was named for the man whose strong legislative support had made the Center's facilities and programs possible.

Magnuson, a long-time advocate of free trade with the Peoples' Republic of China, led the first congressional delegation to that country in 1973 following President Nixon's historic visit the previous year.

In the latter part of 1970, Magnuson vigorously promoted funding for the SST program. The proposal was eventually defeated.

From the guide to the Warren Grant Magnuson papers and collected materials on Magnuson, 1918-1989, 1945-1980, (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Haig, Emily H., 1890-1978. Emily Haig papers, 1933-1972. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Donald S. Voorhees papers, 1968-1986 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Seattle Branch records, 1940-2000 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Glenn Lee Papers, 1906-1992 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn Alpine Lakes Protection Society records, 1968-1990 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Younger, J. Arthur (Jesse Arthur), 1893-1967. J. Arthur Younger papers, 1951-1968. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 1/24/78 [1]
referencedIn Andrews, Emery E., 1894-1976. Emery E. Andrews papers, 1925-1969 (bulk 1942-1947). University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Burch, Dean, 1927-. Dean Burch papers, 1964-1973 [manuscript]. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Seattle Branch. Records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Seattle Branch, 1940-2000. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Emery E. Andrews Papers, 1925-1969, 1942-1947 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 11/26/79 [2]
referencedIn Wilbert McLeod Chapman papers, 1932-1970 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Dillis Charles Knapp papers, circa 1920-1981 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Coalition Against Oil Pollution (Wash.). Coalition Against Oil Pollution records, 1970-1981 (bulk 1977-1981). ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
referencedIn Clinton Presba Anderson Papers, 1938-1973, (bulk 1948-1973) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry records, 1842-1994. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 7/12/78 [1]
referencedIn Batcheller, Willis Tryon, 1889-1975. Papers, ca. 1915-1970. ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
referencedIn Voorhees, Donald S. Donald S. Voorhees papers, 1968-1986. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Robert E. Burke collection, 1892-1994 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Alpine Lakes Protection Society (Wash.). Alpine Lakes Protection Society records, 1968-1990. ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
referencedIn Victor Steinbrueck papers, 1931-1986 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Benson, Naomi Achenbach. Naomi Achenbach Benson papers, 1895-1961 (bulk 1935-1961). University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn John Collier papers, 1910-1987 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn KVOS Channel 12 Film Records, 1961-1967 Western Washington University Heritage Resources
referencedIn Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954, 1934-1952 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Records, 1907-1978, 1933-1978 Whitman College and Northwest Archives
referencedIn Adams, Brock, 1927-2004. Brock Adams photograph collection, circa 1920-1992 (bulk 1959-1992) [graphic]. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Naomi Achenbach Benson papers, 1895-1961, 1935-1961 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 6/12/78 [2]
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 8/17/78
creatorOf Magnuson, Warren Grant, 1905-1989. Warren Grant Magnuson : commercials, 1968-1980. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
creatorOf Lyndon Baines Johnson Archives Collection. 1931 - 1968. Congressional Correspondence Files
referencedIn Brock Adams photograph collection, circa 1920-1992, 1959-1992 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Mitchell, Hugh B. (Hugh Burnton), 1907-1996. Hugh Burnton Mitchell papers 1940-1967 (bulk 1940-1953). University of Washington Libraries
creatorOf Mitford, Jessica, 1917-1996. Papers, 1949-1973 (bulk 1961-1973). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Inland Empire Waterways Association. Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Records, 1907-1978 (bulk 1933-1978). Whitman College, Penrose Library
referencedIn Pugnetti, Donald, 1917-1986. Papers, 1937-1986 (bulk 1957-1986). Washington State Historical Society
creatorOf Timbers, Lawrence, 1897-. Papers, 1949-1978. University of Oregon Libraries, UO Libraries
creatorOf Langlie, Arthur B. (Arthur Bernard), 1900-1966. Arthur B. Langlie papers, 1935-1966 (bulk 1949-1957). University of Washington Libraries
creatorOf Magnuson, Warren G. (Warren Grant), 1905-1989. Seattle Gun Club miscellaneous papers, 1919-1943. Seattle Public Library, Central Library
referencedIn Marion S. Kinney papers, circa 1940-1981 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Recordings and Transcripts of Telephone Conversations and Meetings. 11/22/1963 - 1/3/1969. John F. Kennedy Assassination Related Recordings and Transcripts. 11/22/1963 - 3/28/1967. LBJ Recording of Telephone Conversation, K Series, Warren Magnuson, 3:15P
referencedIn Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-. Papers of Clinton Presba Anderson, 1938-1972 (bulk 1948-1972). Library of Congress
referencedIn Batcheller, Willis Tryon, 1889-1975. Willis Tryon Batcheller papers, circa 1915-1970. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Warren G. Magnuson 1972 interview materials, 1972 Western Washington University Heritage Resources
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.). Gold pass Seattle World's Fair : issued to Warren G Magnuson, U.S.S., 1962. University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Ludlow mss., 1898-1948 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn Michael Pertschuk Papers, 1949-2002, (bulk 1977-2001) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Lee, Glenn C. (Glenn Clifford). Papers, 1906-1992. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn The, Daily Worker, and, The Daily World, Photographs Collection, Bulk, 1930-1990, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
referencedIn Coalition Against Oil Pollution records, 1970-1981, 1977-1981 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Allen, Edward Weber, 1885-1976. Edward Weber Allen papers, 1886-1975 (bulk 1929-1974). University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Edward Weber Allen papers, 1886-1975, 1929-1974 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Snohomish County Central Labor Council records, 1915-1999 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Pertschuk, Michael, 1933-. Michael Pertschuk papers, 1949-2002 (bulk 1977-2001). Library of Congress
referencedIn Emily Haig papers, 1933-1972 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Praetorius, Henry, 1909-2003. Papers, 1922-1989. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn John M. Fox papers, 1938-1958 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Terry Pettus papers, 1927-1984 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Warren Grant Magnuson papers and collected materials on Magnuson, 1918-1989, 1945-1980 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ALASKA EARTHQUAKE DISASTER
referencedIn National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry records, 1842-1994. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Tanner, Jack Edward, 1919-2006. Jack Edward Tanner collection, 1900-2001 bulk 1955-1990. Washington State Historical Society
referencedIn Andrew Winberg papers, 1917-1978 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Mark M. Litchman papers, 1901-1965 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn George W. Pray Papers, 1844-1890 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Margaret Bayne Price Papers, 1918-1969, 1947-1968 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Wolf, Robert, 1920-2005,. Robert Wolf interview, 1989 Nov. 14. University of Montana, Mansfield Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Staff Scheduling Memoranda. 1977 - 1978. 6/10/78-6/20/78
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Brock, 1927-2004. person
associatedWith Allen, Edward Weber, 1885-1976. person
associatedWith Alpine Lakes Protection Society (Wash.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895- person
associatedWith Andrews, Emery E., 1894-1976. person
correspondedWith Batcheller, Willis Tryon, 1889-1975. person
associatedWith Benson, Naomi Achenbach person
associatedWith Benson, Naomi Achenbach. person
associatedWith Burch, Dean, 1927- person
associatedWith Burke, Robert E. (Robert Eugene), 1921-1998 person
associatedWith Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Chapman, Wilbert McLeod,  1910-1970 person
associatedWith Coalition Against Oil Pollution (Wash.) corporateBody
associatedWith Collier, John, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Featherstone, Warren Reid person
associatedWith Fox, John M., 1902-1978 person
associatedWith Haig, Emily H., 1890-1978. person
associatedWith Inland Empire Waterways Association. person
associatedWith Kinney, Marion S. person
associatedWith Knapp, Dillis Charles person
associatedWith KVOS Channel 12 corporateBody
associatedWith Langlie, Arthur B. (Arthur Bernard), 1900-1966. person
correspondedWith Lee, Glenn C. (Glenn Clifford) person
correspondedWith Lee, Glenn C., (Glenn Clifford) person
associatedWith Litchman, Mark,  1925- person
associatedWith Ludlow, Louis, 1873-1950 person
associatedWith Mitchell, Hugh B. (Hugh Burnton), 1907-1996. person
associatedWith Mitford, Jessica, 1917-1996. person
associatedWith Moody, Blair, 1902-1954 person
associatedWith National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. corporateBody
associatedWith Pacific Northwest Waterways Association person
correspondedWith Pertschuk, Michael, 1933- person
associatedWith Pettus, Terry, 1904- person
associatedWith Praetorius, Henry, 1909-2003. person
associatedWith Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890 person
associatedWith Price, Margaret Bayne, 1912-1968 person
correspondedWith Pugnetti, Donald, 1917-1986. person
associatedWith Sheets, Edward person
associatedWith Sheets, Edward W. person
associatedWith Snohomish County Central Labor Council corporateBody
correspondedWith Steinbrueck, Victor person
associatedWith Tanner, Jack Edward, 1919-2006. person
associatedWith Timbers, Lawrence, 1897- person
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
associatedWith Voorhees, Donald S. person
associatedWith Walsh, James P. person
associatedWith Welles, Orson, 1915-1985 person
associatedWith Winberg, Andrew person
associatedWith Wolf, Robert, 1920-2005, person
associatedWith Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Seattle Branch. corporateBody
associatedWith Younger, J. Arthur (Jesse Arthur), 1893-1967. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Television advertising
Advertising, political
Political Campaigns
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1905-04-12

Death 1989-05-20

English

Information

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