Malcolm Wallop

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Malcolm Wallop

In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Gale William McGee
Succeeded by Craig Thomas

Wyoming State Representative
In office
January 6, 1969 – July 4, 1973

Wyoming State Senator
In office
July 6, 1973 – June 5, 1976

Born February 27, 1933
New York City, New York
Died September 14, 2011
(aged 78)
Big Horn, Wyoming
Resting place Sheridan Municipal Cemetery in Sheridan, Wyoming
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Josephine Vail Stebbins Wallop (married 1956-1965, divorced)

(2) Jean Warren Wallop (married 1967-1981, divorced) (3) French Carter Gamble Goodwyn (married 1984-2000, divorced)
(4) Isabel Brooke Thomasson Fergusson Wallop (married 2005-2011, his death)

Children From first marriage:

Malcolm Moncreiffe Henry Wallop
Oliver Matthew Wallop
Amy Vail Wallop Hendrickson
Paul Stebbins Wallop

Occupation Rancher

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1955-1957
Rank First Lieutenant

Malcolm Wallop (February 27, 1933 – September 14, 2011) was a Republican United States Senator from 1977 to 1995 for his adopted state of Wyoming. A rancher by occupation, he was descended from titled English aristocrats.[1]


Wallop was born in New York City to Oliver Malcolm Wallop (1905-1980) and the former Jean McGinley Moore (1908-1943). His mother died when Malcolm was ten years of age. He was sent to the Cate School in Carpentira in Santa Barbara County, California, where he was taught horse riding skills which came in handy in his career as a rancher. In 1954, his father married the former Carolyn Towle (1906-1972). That same year, Wallop graduated from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

His paternal grandfather, Oliver Henry Wallop (1861-1943), the 8th earl of Portsmouth, emigrated to the United States and enterrd the cattle business. He is the only person to have served in both the British House of Lords and the Wyoming House of Representatives in which Malcolm Wallop served from 1969 to 1973.[2] Wallop's maternal grandfather was Edward Small Moore and maternal great-grandfather was the industrialist and attorney William Henry Moore (1848-1923). [3]

Wallop had a brother, Edward John Wallop (1930-2000), and a sister, Jean Margaret Wallop Herbert (1935-2019), the wife of Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert (1924-2001), the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was the racing manager for Queen Elizabeth II.[4] In 1984, the queen visited the Herberts and Wallops at the Canyon Ranch in Big Horn, Wyoming.[5] That same year Wallop married for the third time, French Carter Gamble Goodwyn. The couple divorced in 2001 and quarreled over her share of Wallop lands. The divorce decree in 2004 upheld his claims.[6]

Political career

Following his graduation from Yale, Wallop served from 1955 to 1957 in the United States Army as a first lieutenant. After his discharge from the Army, Wallop began ranching, and entered politics, after his divorce from the former Josephine Vail, the mother of his four children. In 1969, he became a state representative from Sheridan. From 1973 to 1976, he was a state senator.[2]

In 1974, Wallop sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination,[2] but was defeated by his state Senate colleague, Richard R. "Dick" Jones, a trucking executive from Cody and Powell in Park County in northwestern Wyoming.Jones went on to lose the general election in a heavily Democratic year to Edgar Jacob Herschler (1918-1999) of Kemmerer in Lincoln County in southwestern Wyoming.

In 1976, a nationally Democratic year, Gerald R. Ford, Jr., still defeated Jimmy Carter in Wyoming, and Wallop unseated three-term Democratic U.S. Senator Gale William McGee (1915-1992) with 55 percent of the vote.[2] His election advertising depicted a cowboy riding across the range with a portable toilet on top of a pack horse.[7]

Though Wallop said that he would serve only one term, he completed three terms. Senator Wallop supported strong national security. On fiscal matters, Wallop favored reductions in estate and gift taxes.[2]

Wallop was the only non-lawyer to have served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was also a member of the Natural Resources Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence. From 1981 to 1983, he served as chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee.[2]

As a freshman senator, Wallop authored the legislation that created the Congressional Award program to recognize volunteerism among the youth. His 1977 amendment to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act required the national government to compensate property owners who sustained losses because of mining regulations. Three years later, Wallop successfully amended the Clean Water Act to protect Wyoming interests.[2]

In 1977, Wallop was one of only nine senators to vote against the adoption of a strict code of ethics for the body even though he served on the Ethics Committee.[8]

In 1981, Wallop was instrumental in the repeal of President Carter's "windfall profits tax. Wallop was re-elected in a nationally Democratic year by a 14-point margin over Democrat Rodger McDaniel (born 1948), a Wyoming state legislator and currently a Presbyterian pastor in the capital city of Cheyenne. In his second term, Wallop supported the 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative,[2] a proposed missile defense system intended to protect the United States from nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles but derided by Democrats as "Star Wars."[9]

In 1988, Wallop won his final term by just 1,322 votes over Democratic state senator John P. Vinich (1950-2004), the son of the 1972 Democratic Senate nominee, Mike M. Vinich (1924-2015), who lost to Clifford P. Hansen, a former one-term governor and two-term U.S. senator. In his last term, Wallop pressed foreign policy and trade debates. He was a member of the Helsinki Commission and a defender of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization.[2]

From 1990-94, he was the ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and in 1992, was a key force behind passage of the far-reaching Energy Policy Act.[2]

In 1994, a strongly Republican year nationally, Wallop did not seek a fourth term but became the director of the conservative think-tank, the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation. .[7]He was succeeded as senator by fellow Republican Craig Thomas, who was ten days older than Wallop and died in office in 2007, when he was succeeded by Republican John Barrasso. The Economist wrote of Wallop: "Although his detractors have steadily grown in number, even Democrats grudgingly admitted to liking his candor and his willingness to be stupendously politically incorrect."[2]

In 1996, Wallop was the general chairman and executive director of the Steve Forbes campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Forbes obtained primary wins in Delaware and Arizona but lost the nomination to Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, who was then defeated by incumbent Bill Clinton.

Death and legacy

Wallop died in Big Horn, Wyoming, at the age of seventy-eight of a lengthy illness. He was survived by his fourth wife, Isabel Brooke Thomasson Ferguson Wallop, and his four children from the first marriage.[2]

Moderate Republican Senator Alan Simpson recalled his Wyoming colleague as "a highly "principled politician. I never saw him go back on his word," he said. "It was a joy to debate with him, more fun being on his side I'll tell you that than it was on the other side."[7]

Former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, who earlier held Wyoming's single seat in the U.S. House, said of Wallop: "Malcolm was sort of the spark plug, he was the senior guy, and Al [Simpson] and I were delighted to work with him. My record and Malcolm's record were pretty similar in terms of how we voted on the issues."[7]


  1. Malcolm Wallop (1933-2011) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed July 27, 2021.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Margalit Fox (September 15, 2011). Malcolm Wallop, Senator From Wyoming, Dies at 78. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 27, 2021.
  3. "W. H. Moore, Lawyer and Horseman Dies, known Internationally as a Breeder and Exhibitor of Thoroughbreds," The New York Times, January 12, 1923.
  4. Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert (1924-2001) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed July 27, 2021.
  5. "Ranch's Royal Guest Arrives for Weekend",The New York Times, October 13, 1984
  6. Wyoming high court upholds Wallop divorce settlement | Wyoming News |, accessed July 27, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Malcolm Wallop Obituary (2011) - Vacaville, CA - The Reporter (, accessed July 26, 2021.
  8. "SENATE, 86‐9, ADOPTS A STRICT ETHICS CODE TO BUILD CONFIDENCE", The New York Times, April 2, 1977. 
  9. Donald R. Baucom (March 6, 2016). Missile Defense Milestones".