Carl T. Curtis

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Carl Thomas Curtis, Sr.

In office
January 1, 1955 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by Hazel Hempel Abel (second interim for Dwight Griswold)
Succeeded by John James "Jim" Exon
In office
January 3, 1943 – December 31, 1954
Preceded by Oren S. Copeland
Succeeded by Phillip Hart Weaver

U. S. Representative for Nebraska's 4th congressional district, since disbanded
In office
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1943
Preceded by Charles Gustav Binderup
Succeeded by Arthur L. Miller

Born March 15, 1905
Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska
Died January 24, 2000 (aged 94)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Resting place Minden Cemetery
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Lois I. Wylie-Atwater Curtis (1903-1970; married 1931-1970, her death)[1]

(2) Mildred Genier Baker Curtis (1913-2009; married 1972-2000, his death)[2]

Children Two adopted children from first marriage

Clara Mae Curtis Hopkins (1936-1967)
Carl Curtis, Jr. (1939-2018)

Alma mater Nebraska Wesleyan University

Carl Thomas Curtis, Sr. (March 15, 1905 – January 24, 2000), was a Republican United States Senator for his native Nebraska, with service from 1955 to 1979. Earlier, from 1939 to 1954, he represented two different congressional districts in the United States House of Representatives. He remains the second-longest-serving senator from Nebraska.

               Senator Carl Curtis' warning about socialism:
               "Socialism moves the country in a direction not good for anyone, whether they 
               be young or old. It charts a course from which there will be no turning back."

Curtis was born on his family's farm in Kearney County near the county seat of Minden in south central Nebraska. He attended public schools and what became Nebraska Wesleyan University in the capital city of Lincoln. He studied law on his own, passed the bar examination, and began his law practice. From 1931 to 1934, he was the county attorney for Kearney County.[3]

When elected to the U.S. House in 1938, he was an ardent opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs. In 1954, he was elected to the Senate in a nationally Democratic year. Because the interim incumbent Senator, Hazel Hempel Abel (1888-1966), resigned, Curtis got a two-day jump on seniority. He was reelected to the Senate in 1960, 1966, and 1972. As with the New Deal, Curtis, a strongly fiscal conservative opposed most of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs but was steadfast in support of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

After he retired from the Senate, Curtis wrote an autobiographical account, Forty Year against the Tide, which details his opposition to expanded government.


  1. Lois I. Atwater Curtis (1903-1970) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed July 5, 2021}}
  2. Mildred Curtis Obituary (2009) - Lincoln, NE - Lincoln Journal Star (, accessed July 5, 2021.
  3. CURTIS, Carl Thomas, (1905–2000). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on July 5, 2021.