Back to former Oklahoma governors
David Lyle Boren

Gov. David Lyle Boren

  • January 13, 1975 - January 3, 1979
  • Democratic
  • April 21, 1941
  • Washington
  • Yale University; Oxford University; University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Married Molly Shi; two children
  • Senator
  • National Guard
  • Phi Beta Kappa; Rhodes Scholar, U.S. Jaycees list of “Ten Outstanding Men in America” (1976), and Time Magazine’s list of America’s most promising young leaders (1979)


DAVID LYLE BOREN was born in Washington, D.C. He was an honors graduate of Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a master’s degree, with honors, in government (1965). While in England, he served on the speaker’s bureau of the U.S. Embassy in London and traveled to more than sixty foreign countries. After returning from Oxford, Boren received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1968, where he was named the outstanding graduate in his class by the law school faculty. In 1976 he was honored by the United States Jaycees as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Men in America” and in 1979 he was recognized by Time Magazine as one of America’s most promising young leaders. Boren served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1966 to 1974. He worked as an assistant to the Director of Liaison, Office of Civil Defense Mobilization (1960-1962) and as a propaganda analyst in Soviet Affairs with the U.S. Agency. During his single gubernatorial term, he promoted key educational initiatives that have had an enduring impact on Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, the Scholarship-Leadership Enrichment Program, and the Oklahoma Physician Manpower Training Program, designed to provide scholarships for medical professionals committed to practicing in underserved rural areas. Boren went on to serve in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to1994, where he chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and led the fight for congressional campaign finance reform. Among his most important accomplishments, he authored the National Security Education Act of 1992, which established the National Security Education Program. In 1994, Boren became President of the University of Oklahoma, a position he continues to hold.


Oklahoma Governors Since Statehood

Who’s Who in America, 2006. New Providence, NJ: Marquis’ Who’s Who, 2005.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

David Boren Biography

Recent Oklahoma Governors