Craig Lyle Thomas was born February 17, 1933 in Cody, Wyoming. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in animal husbandry, and went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955-1959. In 1984 Thomas was elected to the Wyoming House of Representative, in which he served until 1989. Following Dick Cheney's resignation as a U.S. Representative, Thomas ran and was elected to Wyoming's only seat in the House of Representatives in 1989. He was re-elected twice, before running for the U.S. Senate in 1994. After winning his initial election, Senator Thomas easily won re-election in 2000 and 2006, capturing more than seventy percent of the vote in both elections. During his time in the Senate, Thomas served as the Chairman of the National Parks subcommittee. Senator Thomas died on June 4, 2007 in Bethesda, Maryland.
From the description of Craig Lyle Thomas papers, 1963-2007, (bulk 1989-2007). (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 328862553
Craig Lyle Thomas was born February 17, 1933 in Cody, Wyoming. His parents were public school teachers who operated a dude ranch business on the edge of Yellowstone National Park during the summers. The family’s interest in tourism later led Thomas to purchase a small hotel in Torrington. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in animal husbandry. Thereafter, he served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps from 1955-1959; he attained the rank of Captain. He served over twelve years as Republican United States Senator from Wyoming. Thomas was considered an expert on agriculture and rural development. He served in key positions in several state agencies, including a long tenure as Vice President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau and as general manager of the Wyoming Rural Electrification Administration. He resided in Casper for twenty-eight years. In 1984, he was elected from Casper to the Wyoming House of Representatives, in which he served until 1989.
In 1989, Dick Cheney, who occupied Wyoming’s only seat in the House of Representatives, resigned to become Secretary of Defense. Thomas became the Republican candidate to succeed Cheney and won the April 1989 special election. He was re-elected in 1990 and 1992, and in 1994 he ran for and won the Senate seat being vacated by fellow conservative Republican Malcolm Wallop. He was easily re-elected in 2000 and 2006, capturing more than seventy percent of the vote in both elections. Thomas served as Chairman of the National Parks subcommittee and authored legislation to provide funding and management reforms to protect America’s national parks into the 21st century. He was honored by the National Parks and Conservation Association with their William Penn Mott, Jr., Park Leadership Award, as well as the National Parks Achievement Award. As a senior member of the Senate’s influential Finance Committee, Thomas was involved in issues such as social security, trade, rural health care, and tax reform. Senator Thomas died on June 4, 2007 at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Thomas was married to the former Susan Roberts, whom he met in Casper. They had four children together, three sons, Peter, Patrick, and Greg, and one daughter, Lexie.
From the guide to the Craig Lyle Thomas papers, 1963-2007 (bulk 1989-2007), (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)