Wayne Norviel ASPINALL, Congress, CO (1896-1983)


ASPINALL, Wayne Norviel, a Representative from Colorado; born in Middleburg, Logan County, Ohio, April 3, 1896; moved with his parents to Palisade, Mesa County, Colo., in 1904; attended the public schools; studied at the University of Denver until the First World War, then enlisted in the Air Service of the Signal Corps and served as a corporal and staff sergeant until discharged as a flying cadet; returned to the University of Denver and graduated in 1919; taught school in Palisade, Colo., 1919-1921; president of the Mount Lincoln School District School Board 1920-1922; graduated from the Denver Law School in 1925; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Palisade, Colo.; also engaged in the peach-orchard industry; again taught school 1925-1933; member of Palisade Board of Trustees 1926-1934; district counsel of the Home Owners Loan Corporation in western Colorado in 1933 and 1934; member of the State house of representatives 1931-1934 and in 1937 and 1938, serving as Democratic whip in 1933, and as speaker in 1937 and 1938; served in the State senate 1939-1948 and was Democratic whip in 1939, majority floor leader in 1941, and minority floor leader 1943-1947; during the Second World War was commissioned a captain in Military Government in 1943, serving overseas as a legal expert with the American and English forces; participated in the Normandy drive with the English Second Army; was discharged on December 14, 1944; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-first and to the eleven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1949-January 3, 1973); chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (Eighty-sixth through Ninety-second Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1972 to the Ninety-third Congress; resumed the practice of law; was a resident of Palisade, Colo., until his death there October 9, 1983; cremated; ashes interred at Orchard Mesa Municipal Cemetery, Grand Junction, Colo.


Sturgeon, Stephen C. The Politics of Western Water: The Congressional Career of Wayne Aspinall. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present