November 29, 1950 – January 3, 1969
|Preceded by||Harry Darby|
|Succeeded by||Bob Dole|
30th Governor of Kansas
January 13, 1947 – November 28, 1950
|Preceded by||Andrew Frank Schoeppel|
|Succeeded by|| Frank Leslie Hagaman|
(interim for Edward Ferdinand Arn)
Chairman of the
National Governors Association
June 19, 1949 – June 18, 1950
|Succeeded by||Frank Lausche (Ohio)|
United States Representative
for Kansas' 6th Congressional District, since disbanded
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1947
|Preceded by||Katherine O'Loughlin McCarthy|
|Succeeded by||Wint Smith|
Kansas State Representative
|Born|| January 23, 1893|
Cloud County, Kansas
|Died|| May 30, 1987 (aged 94)|
Concordia, Cloud County
|Resting place||Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Concordia|
|Spouse(s)|| Alice Fredrickson Carlson|
(married 1919–1986, her death)
|Children|| No children
|Alma mater|| Cloud County Community College|
Kansas State University
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1918–1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Frank Carlson (January 23, 1893 – May 30, 1987) was a Republican politician who served as the 30th governor of Kansas from 1947 to 1950 and a United States Senator from 1950 to 1969. He also served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1929 to 1933 and the United States House of Representatives from 1935 to 1950. He is the only Kansan to have held all four of these offices. He was also his state party chairman from 1933 to 1935. His political career began with the election of U.S. President Herbert Hoover in November 1928 and ended shortly before the inauguration of Richard M. Nixon in January 1969.
Carlson was born near Concordia, the county seat of Cloud County located in north central Kansas. He was the son of Swedish immigrants Charles Eric Carlson (1862–1931) and the former Anna Johannesson (1866–1948). He attended public schools and what later became Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. He was a private in the United States Army in World War II.
After the war, Carlson returned to Concordia to farm. He soon was elected state representative and in 1935 moved up to the United States House for the since disbanded Kansas 6th congressional district.
Governor Carlson is remembered for his emphasis on mental health programs and highway construction. In 1949, Kansas state Senator Clyde Martin Reed (1871–1949) died, and Carlson appointed Harry Darby (1895–1987) to fill the seat. Darby continued his service in the Senate until Carlson himself was elected to fill the seat in 1950. Instead of waiting until January to be sworn in, he took his seat on November 28, 1950, and left the governorship to Frank Leslie Hagaman (1894–1966) who served less than two months.
In 1952, Carlson campaigned for Dwight D. Eisenhower, and then brokered a deal to make Eisenhower's intraparty opponent, U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, as the Senate Majority Leader. According to Billy Graham's autobiography, Just As I Am, Carlson was instrumental in the establishment of the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, an annual assembly of all three branches of government still in operation. Carlson was also a member of the board of directors of World Vision.
Unlike his Kansas senatorial colleague Andrew Schoeppel, Carlson voted for the censure of Wisconsin Republican Joseph McCarthy, who exposed communist infiltration of the United States State Department and the United States Army.
A Moderate Republican who had earlier opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, Carlson was in the forefront for the passage of Civil Rights Acts in 1957, 1964, and 1968, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the 1967 confirmation of the liberal Thurgood Marshall, the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. He also backed ratification of the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which halted poll taxes for voters in federal elections.
The public library in Concordia, Kansas, is named for him and contains an exhibit on his political life. The federal building and court house in the capital city of Topeka is also named in Carlson's honor. His Senate successor, Bob Dole, said that Carlson "wrote the book on class."
He has the Frank Carlson Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse named after him.
- James B. Pearson, his senatorial colleague during the 1960s
- FRAND CARLSON DIES AT 94; SERVED 3 TERMS AS SENATOR FROM KANSAS. The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- Frank Carlson. Kansas Historical Society.
- Frank Carlson (1893-1987) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed July 5, 2021.
- Frank Carlson. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on July 5, 2021.
- Billy Graham, Just As I Am (New York City:HarperCollins, 1997), p. 202.
- "Carlson's Role in Viet Aid Agency, Fort Scott (Kansas) Tribune, June 28, 1967.
- S. RES. 301. PASSAGE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- Frank Carlson papers : Collection 92 - State Archives - Kansas Historical Society (kshs.org), accessed July 5, 2021.
- HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- HR. 7152. PASSAGE.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN SALE OR RENTAL OF HOUSING, AND TO PROHIBIT RACIALLY MOTIVATED INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON EXERCISING HIS CIVIL RIGHTS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- TO PASS S. 1564, THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- CONFIRMATION OF NOMINATION OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, THE FIRST NEGRO APPOINTED TO THE SUPREME COURT.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- S.J. RES. 29. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION BANNING THE POLL TAX AS PREREQUISITE FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- Frank Carlson Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. U.S. General Services Administration. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
- Profile at National Governors Association