GEORGE DEWEY CLYDE was born in Springville, Utah. He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Utah State Agricultural College in 1921 and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1923. He then joined the engineering faculty at Utah State Agricultural College, becoming Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology in 1935. During World War II, he directed various government programs at the college, serving as administrator of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, the War Production Training Program, the Naval Radio Training Program, and the Army Specialized Training Program. He held administrative posts with the U.S. Soil Conservation from 1945 until 1953, when he was chosen director of the Utah Water and Power Board. Although a political novice, he won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1956 over three other candidates and went on to win the general election. During his first term as governor, he reorganized executive branch agencies, increased state funding for schools and highway construction, planned a state building program, and began state library and park systems. His second term was marked by concern over creation of the Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. Clyde opposed setting aside large tracts of land exclusively for park status, instead preferring multi-use of the land—including for mining and grazing. The issue was resolved in 1964 when Congress created a smaller park than had originally been proposed. After leaving office, Clyde resumed his engineering profession as a consultant.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. I. New York: James T. White & Company.
“Ex-Gov Clyde Dies At 73,” Deseret News, April 3, 1972, pp. A1 and A4; Deseret News, April 4, 1972, p. 10; “Former Governor Clyde Dies Sunday at 73 In Salt Lake City Home,” Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1972, pp. 17 and 27.