JOHN F. SIMMS was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on December 18, 1916. His education was attained at the New Mexico Military Institute, at the University of New Mexico, where he graduated in 1937, and at Yale University, where he earned an LL.B. degree in 1940. During World War II, he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army, and later rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his military service, he established his legal career, as well as becoming involved in the ranching business. Simms first entered politics in 1947, serving as a member and speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives, a position he held for two years. He also served on the New Mexico Commission for Promotion of Uniform State Laws from 1950 to 1954. Simms next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by popular vote on November 2, 1954. During his tenure, manufacturing within the state was promoted; and federal jobs in the state continued to flourish. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Simms retired from politics. He continued to stay active in his ranching interests, as well as in his legal practice. Governor John F. Simms passed away on April 11, 1975.

Sources:

Governor John F. Simms Papers, 1955-1956

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

For more information please contact the New Mexico State Archives at 505-476-7948 or archives@state.nm.us.