KERR, Robert Samuel, (1896 - 1963)

Senate Years of Service: 1949-1963
Party: Democrat

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

KERR, Robert Samuel, a Senator from Oklahoma; born in the Chickasaw Indian Territory, Okla., near the present town of Ada, September 11, 1896; attended public schools; taught school; graduated from East Central Normal School, Ada, Okla., in 1911; studied law at the University of Oklahoma; during the First World War served as a second lieutenant with the First Field Artillery, United States Army, 1917-1919; captain and later major in Oklahoma National Guard 1921-1929; admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1922 and commenced the practice of law in Ada, Okla.; drilling contractor and oil producer; chairman of the board of Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, Inc.; special justice, Oklahoma supreme court 1931; president, Oklahoma County Juvenile Council 1935-1936; member, Unofficial Pardon and Parole Board 1935-1938; Governor of Oklahoma 1943-1947; chairman, Southern Governors Conference 1945-1946; Democratic national committeeman 1940-1948; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1948; reelected in 1954, and again in 1960, and served from January 3, 1949, until his death in Washington, D.C., January 1, 1963; chairman, Select Committee on National Water Resources (Eighty-sixth Congress), Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences (Eighty-seventh Congress); interment in Rose Hill Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Okla., and subsequently at the Kerr family homestead near Ada, Okla.


Dictionary of American Biography; Cox, Joe David. “Senator Robert S. Kerr and the Arkansas River Navigation Project: A Study in Legislative Leadership." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1972; Morgan, Anne. Robert S. Kerr: The Senate Years. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977.