Monday, September 14, 2009

Governors: Calvin Lewellyn Rampton


Born in 1913, Calvin Lewellyn Rampton was Utah’s third governor elected from Davis County. He attended the University of Utah and served in the Utah National Guard during World War II in Europe where he received a Bronze Star. Rampton’s early career was spent as the Davis County Attorney and the assistant attorney general for Utah. A lifelong Democrat, Rampton ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in 1954 and 1962. Although discouraged by these losses, he accepted his party’s nomination for governor and won that office in 1964.

Rampton asked the Legislature for increased spending for education, passage of three civil rights bills, and the right to use federal funds for urban renewal, and the Legislature responded favorably to a majority of his requests. The 1967 Legislature approved $117 million for higher education, more than Rampton had requested.

Rampton easily won re-election in 1968 and 1972 making him Utah’s first and only governor to serve three full terms. As governor, Rampton worked with business leaders and championed industrial development, tourism, development of energy resources and expansion of the defense industry in Utah. During his third term, he recommended ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He supported state building projects, including Salt Lake City’s Symphony Hall (now Abravanel Hall), the Salt Lake Arts Center, and numerous public schools.

Throughout his three terms in office, “Cal” Rampton remained a popular governor. The Calvin L. Rampton Complex, which houses the Utah Department of Transport and the Utah Department of Public Safety, as well as Cal Rampton Boardroom at the Capitol are named after him. After Rampton’s death in 2007, the Salt Palace Convention Center was renamed the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in his honor.


Alvin L. Gittins (1922–1981), one of Utah’s finest painters, came from England to study art at Brigham Young University. He later taught for many years at the University of Utah. Gittins was Utah’s most dominant portrait painter and was noted for his ability to capture his subject’s personality as well as likeness and for his masterly traditional styles. He also painted Governor Matheson’s portrait.

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