MARK ODOM HATFIELD was born in The Dalles, Oregon. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Willamette University in 1943 and a Master of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1948 following his service as an Ensign junior grade in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He traveled to Hiroshima just one month after the atomic bomb had been dropped, an experience that-along with a subsequent trip to then-French Indochina (Vietnam)-shaped his outspoken opposition to nuclear war and to the War in Vietnam. Hatfield was a professor of Political Science and Dean of Students at Willamette University from 1949 through 1956 and during the same period began his life in politics as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. He was a state Representative from 1951 to 1955, a state Senator from 1955 to 1957, and Oregon’s Secretary of State from 1957 until 1959, when he became governor. The Hatfield administration achieved passage of a tax cut, establishment of a state-backed birth control system, prohibition of capital punishment in the state, and reapportionment of Oregon’s congressional districts. Hatfield chaired the Western Governors’ Association and was on the National Governors Association’s Executive Committee in 1960 and 1961. After serving two terms as governor, as the Vietnam War escalated, Hatfield was elected to the U.S. Senate as an anti-war candidate. Among his accomplishments during four terms in the Senate was passage of legislation he authored calling for an end to U.S. nuclear testing. After leaving the Senate, Hatfield resumed teaching political science as well as history. Hatfield died August 7, 2011.
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