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Daniel J. Evans
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
September 8, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Henry M. Jackson
Succeeded by Slade Gorton
2nd President of Evergreen State College
In office
June 6, 1977 – September 8, 1983
Preceded by Charles J. McCann
Succeeded by Joseph D. Olander
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
June 3, 1973 – June 2, 1974
Preceded by Marvin Mandel
Succeeded by Cal Rampton
16th Governor of Washington
In office
January 13, 1965 – January 12, 1977
Lieutenant John Cherberg
Preceded by Albert Rosellini
Succeeded by Dixy Lee Ray
Minority Leader of the Washington House of Representatives
In office
January 9, 1961 – January 11, 1965
Preceded by August P. Mardesich
Succeeded by John L. O'Brien
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
January 14, 1957 – January 11, 1965
Preceded by R. Mort Frayn
Succeeded by Newman H. Clark
Personal details
Daniel Jackson Evans

(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925 (age 97)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political party Republican
Nancy Bell
(m. 1959)
Children 3
Education University of Washington, Seattle (BS, MS)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Years of service 1943–1946
Battles/wars World War II

Daniel Jackson Evans (born October 16, 1925) is an American politician who served as the 16th governor of Washington from 1965 to 1977, and as United States senator representing Washington State from 1983 to 1989.

Described as a moderate Republican, particularly on social and environmental issues, Evans supported Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican nomination for president in 1968 and refused to endorse Richard Nixon, despite giving the keynote address at that year's Republican National Convention. He was considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination that year, as well as in 1976.

Early life and education

Evans was born in Seattle, Washington (where he has lived as of 2007), descended from a family that had first arrived in the Washington Territory in 1859; his grandfather had served in one of Washington's first state senates. He grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, and attended Roosevelt High School.

As a young man, Evans was an Eagle Scout, and served as a staff member and Hike Master at Camp Parsons, a well known Boy Scout camp in Washington State. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

After high school, he served in the United States Navy 1943–1946. He first entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program, and was stationed at the University of Washington (UW), but was transferred eight months later to an ROTC program at University of California, Berkeley. He did not see combat; he was deployed to the Pacific shortly after the end of World War II, as a commissioned ensign on a succession of aircraft carriers, before returning to UW in 1946.

Evans graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in civil engineering (BS, 1948; MS, 1949). The UW later (in 2007) gave him the distinction of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignitatus, the highest distinction the university confers on its graduates. He returned to the United States Navy (1951–1953) before working as a structural engineer (1953–1956); in the latter capacity, he helped draw up the plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Later life

After leaving the Senate in 1989, Evans founded his own consulting firm, Daniel J. Evans Associates. Governor Mike Lowry appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University of Washington in 1993; Evans served as the board's president from 1996 to 1997, and in 1999, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University was named for him. Evans also went on to work in media, doing an editorial weekly on the KIRO-TV newscasts from the early- to mid-1990s. In 2012, Evans was listed as a director of the Initiative for Global Development. His autobiography was published in 2022.

Wilderness preservation efforts

Evans was a Boy Scout whose early experiences hiking in the Olympic Mountains nurtured a life-long love of wilderness. Throughout his career, Evans has proven his dedication to the great outdoors in Washington State through his action.

Evans was a crucial supporter, in 1968, when Congress created the North Cascades National Park. The then-governor persuaded President Gerald Ford to sign 1976 legislation creating the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, when the U.S. Forest Service was urging a veto.

As a U.S. senator, Evans sponsored the million-acre Washington Park Wilderness Act, and legislation creating the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

In 1989, Evans co-founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, with Mike Lowry.

In 2017, Olympic Wilderness was renamed to Daniel J. Evans Wilderness, in honor of Evans.

Statewide races in Washington

1983 U.S. Senate election

1972 Washington gubernatorial election

1968 Washington gubernatorial election

  • Dan Evans - 692,378
  • John J. O'Connell - 560,262

1964 Washington gubernatorial election

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