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John Charles Vivian

Gov. John Charles Vivian

  • January 12, 1943 - January 14, 1947
  • Republican
  • June 30, 1887
  • February 10, 1964
  • Colorado
  • University of Colorado, Denver University Law School
  • Married Maud Charlotte Kleyn
  • Marines


JOHN CHARLES VIVIAN was born in Golden, Colorado, on June 30, 1887. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1909 and earned a law degree from the Denver University Law School in 1913. He served during World War I as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. Vivian embarked in a publishing career before entering public service. He was the state editor of the Denver Times, he wrote for the Rocky Mountain News, and his poems and epigrams were published nationally in 1937.  Vivian entered politics when he was appointed city attorney for Golden, Colorado, a position he held from 1914 to 1917. He also served as Federal Food Administrator for Jefferson County from 1917 to 1919, was the Jefferson County attorney from 1922 to 1932, and was the special assistant to the Colorado’s attorney general from 1925 to 1929. Vivian served as Colorado’s lieutenant governor from 1939 to 1943 under Governor Carr’s administration.  He won the 1942 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Colorado’s 30th governor. He was reelected to a second term on November 7, 1944. During his tenure, state employee salaries were raised 18 percent, the Small Loans Act and the Colorado Labor Peace Act were constituted, and the service tax was eliminated. Vivian’s administration advocated increasing veteran’s benefits, and endorsing conservation and highway safety measures. He also established an open-door policy, and every afternoon from 3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., his office was open to anyone who wanted to see him. Vivian left office on January 14, 1947, and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1948.  He served as Colorado chairman and vice chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report. Governor John Vivian died on February 10, 1964, and is buried at the Golden Cemetery, Golden, Colorado.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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