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John Carlin

Gov. John Carlin

  • January 8, 1979 - January 12, 1987
  • Democrat
  • August 3, 1940
  • Kansas
  • Kansas State University
  • Married twice--Karen Bigsby, Lynn Carlin; two children
  • NGA Chair


JOHN CARLIN was born in Salina, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University in 1962. He owned an 800-acre dairy farm. In 1970, Carlin was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives and reelected in 1972, 1974, and 1976. In 1975, he became the minority leader of the house, and in 1977, he was elected to serve as speaker of the house, the first Democrat in 64 years to hold that post. Carlin was elected governor in 1978 and reelected in 1982. He chaired the National Governors Association in 1984-1985. He also chaired the Midwestern Governors’ Conference and the six-state High Plains Study Council. In 1995, then President Bill Clinton named Carlin to serve as the Archivist of the United States.

Recent Kansas Governors