Daniel J. Evans

Daniel J. Evans
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
September 12, 1983  January 3, 1989[1]
Preceded by Henry M. Jackson
Succeeded by Slade Gorton
16th Governor of Washington
In office
January 11, 1965  January 12, 1977
Lieutenant John Cherberg
Preceded by Albert Rosellini
Succeeded by Dixy Lee Ray
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
Preceded by R. Mort Frayn
Succeeded by Newman H. Clark
Personal details
Born Daniel Jackson Evans
(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925
Seattle, Washington
United States
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nancy Bell (m. 1959)
Children Daniel J. Evans, Jr., (1st son)
Mark Evans (2nd son)
Bruce Evans (3rd son)
Alma mater University of Washington
Religion Congregationalist
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1943-1946
Battles/wars World War II

Daniel Jackson Evans (born October 16, 1925) served three terms as the 16th Governor of the state of Washington from 1965 to 1977, and represented the state in the United States Senate from 1983 to 1989.[2]

Evans was seriously considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1968 and 1976. At the 1968 Republican National Convention (where he gave the keynote address) Evans refused to endorse Richard Nixon for the presidential nomination, remaining a supporter of the unsuccessful candidacy of Nelson Rockefeller.[3]

Early life

Evans was born in Seattle, Washington (where he has lived as of 2007),[2] descended from a family that had first arrived in the Washington Territory in 1859; his grandfather had served in one of Washington's first state senates. He grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood and attended Roosevelt High School.[4]

As a young man, Evans, an Eagle Scout,[5] and served as a staff member and Hike Master at Camp Parsons, a well known Boy Scout camp in Washington State. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

After high school, he served in the United States Navy 1943–1946.[2] He first entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program and was stationed at the University of Washington (UW), but was transferred eight months later to an ROTC program at University of California, Berkeley. He did not see combat; he was deployed to the Pacific shortly after the end of World War II as a commissioned ensign on a succession of aircraft carriers, before returning to UW in 1946.[4]

Evans graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in civil engineering (BS, 1948, MS, 1949);[2][4] the UW later (in 2007) gave him the distinction of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignitatus, the highest distinction the university confers on its graduates.[4] He returned to the United States Navy (1951–1953)[2] before working as a structural engineer[2][4] (1953–1956); in the latter capacity, he helped draw up the plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.[4]

Political career

Having attended Toastmasters to improve his initially abysmal public speaking style,[3] Evans served in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1956 to 1965 before being elected governor.[2]

Senator Daniel J. Evans

Despite being a Republican and a self-styled conservative, Evans became known for his administration's liberal policies on environmental protection (he founded the country's first state-level Department of Ecology, which became Nixon's blueprint for the federal EPA) and strong support of the state's higher education system, including founding Washington's system of community colleges. He fought unsuccessfully for a state income tax.[5]

Evans served as governor from 1965 until 1977,[2] still the only governor to serve three four-year consecutive terms and the second to be elected to three terms after Arthur B. Langlie in Washington state history. A 1981 University of Michigan study named him one of the ten outstanding American governors of the 20th century.[5] He declined to run for a fourth term.[6] Serial killer Ted Bundy served as a campaign aide for Evans and maintained a close relationship with the Governor. During the 1972 campaign, Bundy followed Evans' Democratic opponent around the state, tape recording his speeches and reported back to Evans personally. A minor scandal later followed when the Democrats found out about Bundy, who had been posing as a college student.

From 1977 to 1983 Evans served as the second president of The Evergreen State College in Olympia,[2] which Evans had created in 1967 by signing a legislative act authorizing the formation of the college. The largest building on the Evergreen campus is named the Daniel J. Evans Library in his honor. In 1983, Governor John Spellman appointed Evans to the United States Senate to fill a seat left vacant by the death of longtime senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson. Evans won a special election later that year against Mike Lowry and filled the remainder of Jackson's unexpired term, retiring from politics after the 1988 elections.[2][7] He was not happy as a U.S. Senator; he wrote an April 1988 piece in The New York Times Magazine, "Why I'm Quitting the Senate", in which he complained of "bickering and protracted paralysis".[5]

Later life

After leaving the Senate in 1989, Evans founded his own consulting firm, Daniel J. Evans Associates.[2] Governor Mike Lowry appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University of Washington in 1993; Evans served as the board's president from 1996 to 1997,[2] and in 1999 the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University was named for him. Evans also went on to work in media doing an editorial weekly on the KIRO-TV newscasts from the early to mid 1990s. Evans is a director of the Initiative for Global Development.[8]


The following are the vote tallies from Evans' statewide elections:

King County
King total State
1983 US Senate Daniel J Evans R 83901 160244 244145 672326
1983 US Senate Mike Lowry D 101415 90849 192264 540981
1972 Governor Daniel J Evans R 140769 151757 292526 747825
1972 Governor Al Rosellini D 103559 100543 204102 630613
1972 Governor Victor Gould Tax 9890 17990 27880 86843
1972 Governor Henry Killman SL 1361 775 2136 4552
1972 Governor Robin David SW 779 497 1276 2709
1968 Governor Daniel Evans R 139827 132087 271914 692378
1968 Governor John O'Connell D 97781 81426 179207 560262
1968 Governor Ken Chriswell C 2333 2889 5222 11602
1968 Governor Henry Killman SW 176 198 374 1113
1964 Governor Daniel J Evans R 140043 114587 254630 697256
1964 Governor Albert D Rosellini D 116745 73639 190384 548692
1964 Governor Henry Killman SL 1441 888 2329 4326

The following are the results of his State Legislative races for the office of 43rd District representative:

1962 Daniel J Evans R 10710
1962 William E Young R 10295
1962 Roy Jacobs D 3728
1962 Larry R Ourada D 3719
1960 Walter B Williams R 12847
1960 Daniel J Evans R 12309
1960 Arthur J Sweeney D 5510
1960 Barry J Reischling D 4993
1958 Daniel J Evans R 9332
1958 Zeke Clark R 9054
1958 John Spiller D 5069
1956 Daniel J Evans R 13049
1956 Zeke Clark R 11739
1956 John Spiller D 6588
1956 Roy Jacobs D 4997


  1. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=E000236
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Congressional Biography, accessed online 13 August 2007.
  3. 1 2 McHenry 2007, p. 24–25.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 McHenry 2007, p. 24.
  5. 1 2 3 4 McHenry 2007, p.25.
  6. "Evans' man followed Rosy". Ellensburg Daily Record. UPI. 1973-08-30. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  7. "Sen. Evans won't seek re-election". The San Bernardino County Sun. San Bernardino, CA. AP. October 21, 1987. Retrieved November 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  8. "Leadership Council | Initiative for Global Development". Igdleaders.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.


Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Rosellini
Governor of Washington
January 11, 1965–January 12, 1977
Succeeded by
Dixy Lee Ray
United States Senate
Preceded by
Scoop Jackson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Washington
Served alongside: Slade Gorton, Brock Adams
Succeeded by
Slade Gorton
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