Carl Albert Biography

(Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives)
Carl Albert

Birthday: May 10, 1908 (Taurus)

Born In: McAlester

Carl Bert Albert was an American Democratic politician from a small western Oklahoma coal mining town. Undeterred by his humble beginnings, his greatest ambition was to be a politician. He made it clear that everything he did from an early age was calculated towards his political aspirations. During high school he was an excellent debater and student body president. He worked his way through college at The University of Oklahoma and graduated with a political science degree. Following graduation, he studied law at Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship and graduated in the early 1930s. After practicing law in Oklahoma City for a few years, he served in the United States Army during World War II. Upon returning from war, he was elected to Congress. Albert went on to become Speaker of the House of Representatives for six years. This was the highest political office held by an Oklahoman in American history. He was active in Congress during several monumental times in United States history. His political career involved dealing with vastly important issues including the Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the chaotic protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the Watergate Scandal under President Richard Nixon
Quick Facts

Died At Age: 91

Political Leaders American Men

political ideology: Political party - Democratic

Died on: February 4, 2000

place of death: McAlester

U.S. State: Oklahoma

More Facts

education: University of Oklahoma, St Peter's College, Oxford, University of Oxford

Childhood & Early Life
Carl Albert was born on May 10, 1908 in the small town of McAlester, Oklahoma. His father was a poor coal miner and cotton farmer.
In 1927, he graduated from McAlester High School. He was gifted in debate and won the national oratorical contest. He was also student body president. In 1927, he entered the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
In 1928, he won the National Oratorical Championship and an all-expense paid trip to Europe. Through this, he was able to earn enough money to pay for the rest of his undergraduate education.
He was the top male student and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1931 with a political science degree.
He was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and studied law at Oxford University in England. He graduated from there in 1934.
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In 1935, he opened a private law practice in Oklahoma City and practiced until World War II.
He served in the United States Army from 1941-1946 in World War II. He left the army as a lieutenant colonel.
Albert was elected to Congress as a Democrat in the 1946 election to represent "Little Dixie," the tiny third district of southeastern Oklahoma.
He went on to be elected to the fourteen succeeding Congresses, from 1947-1977.
In 1955, he was appointed House Majority Whip and remained so from the Eighty-fourth through Eighty-seventh Congresses.
He was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1971. He held this position from 1971 to his retirement.
In 1977, he retired and returned to McAlester, Oklahoma.
Major Works
In 1990, Albert published an autobiography entitled, 'Little Giant: The Life and Times of Speaker Carl Albert'.
Awards & Achievements
Albert received a Bronze Star for his service in the Army during World War II.
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In 1957, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Personal Life & Legacy
On August 20, 1942, he married Mary Thomas in Columbia, South Carolina during his time in the Army. The couple went on to have two children, Mary Frances and David.
In 1979, the Carl Albert Center was established at The University of Oklahoma in Norman for the purpose of studying Congress and also to research and study Albert's life and political career.
Carl Albert died on February 4, 2000, in McAlester, Oklahoma after years of frail health. He was 91 years old.
The Carl Albert Indian Health Facility is in Ada, Oklahoma and is part of the Public Health Service.
There is a Carl Albert Park in Durant, Oklahoma.
There is a monument to him in his hometown, McAlester, Oklahoma.
Midwest City has two schools named for him: Carl B. Albert Middle School and Carl B. Albert High School.
Carl Albert State College in Poteau bears his name.
There is a monument to him in the Eunomia Chambers of the St. Peter's College Law Library at The University of Oxford.
At a height of only 5'4, Albert was popularly known as the 'Little Giant from Little Dixie'.
He was next in line for the presidency twice during his political tenure. In 1973, after Spiro Agnew's resignation for corruption, President Nixon offered the vice presidency to Albert, but Albert declined. He said, "No. I came to Washington to be a congressman."

See the events in life of Carl Albert in Chronological Order

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