CHARLES H. RUSSELL, the twentieth governor of Nevada, was born in Lovelock, Nevada, on December 27, 1903. His education was attained at Elko High School and at the University of Nevada, where he graduated in 1926. He taught school, and worked in the mining industry, as well as editing the Ely Recorder for several years. Russell first entered politics as a member of the Nevada State Assembly, a position he held from 1935 to 1940. He served as a member of the Nevada State Senate from 1941 to 1946, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1949. He also was a staff member on the Joint Congressional Committee on Foreign Economic Cooperation, serving from 1949 to 1950. Russell next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1950. He was reelected to a second term in 1954. During his tenure, the state’s tax base was improved due to legalized gambling and a Gaming Control Board was created. Russell was chair of the Western Governors’ Conference from 1953 to 1956. After running unsuccessfully for a third term, Russell left office on January 5, 1959. He later served as the director of the Economic Cooperation Administration Mission to Paraguay, a post he held from 1959 to 1963. He also was the assistant to the president of the University of Nevada, serving from 1963 to 1968. Governor Charles H. Russell passed away in Carson City on September 13, 1989 and is buried in the Dayton Cemetery.
Nevada State Library & Archives Papers. 1951-1958. Nevada State Library & Archives, Carson City, NV.
Nevada State Library & Archives Papers. In the Vail Montgomery Pittman Executive Records, 1945-1950. Nevada State Library & Archives, Carson City, NV.
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.
University of Nevada Papers, 1947-1958. Reno: University of Nevada Special Collections Department.