PAUL JONES FANNIN was born in Ashland, Kentucky, on January 29, 1907. Due to his father’s health, his family moved when Paul was still an infant, to Phoenix, Arizona. He attended the University of Arizona, and graduated from Stanford University in 1930 with a degree in business administration. Fannin and his brother established the Fannin Gas and Supply Company, where he served as president for more than 20 years. He entered politics in 1958 when he won the Republican primary for governor. Fannin was elected Arizona’s governor on November 4, 1959, and was sworn into office on January 5, 1959. He won reelection in 1960, and again in 1962. During his three terms as governor, he worked to instate the Arizona-Mexico Commission, which promoted trade and tourism across the border. Fannin also was a proponent for real estate equalization and for the increased distribution of water for Arizona from the Colorado River Project. His administration also aided Arizona’s public school system by boosting sales taxes, which resulted in the first medical school being built and the creation of junior colleges throughout the state. Fannin won election to the U.S. Senate in November 1964, and as a result, left the governor’s office on January 4, 1965. He served two terms and later served on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board. Paul J. Fannin died on January 13, 2002.
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.
Gov. Paul Fannin Webpage by Jeffrey Scott
The Daily Senator, January 17, 2002