Charles O. Porter
Charles O. Porter
From 1957's Pocket Congressional Directory of the Eighty-Fifth Congress.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 4th district
January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1961
|Preceded by||Harris Ellsworth|
|Succeeded by||Edwin Russell Durno|
|Born||(1919-04-04)April 4, 1919
Klamath Falls, Oregon
|Died||January 1, 2006(2006-01-01) (aged 86)
Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Frank Porter and Ruth Peterson, he graduated from high school in Eugene, Oregon and then went on to graduate from Harvard University with a B.S. in 1941. From there he went on to serve in the United States Army during World War II from 1941 to 1945. He then went back to Harvard Law School and graduated with an LL.B. in 1947. At Harvard Law, he partnered with several other returning veterans to found the Harvard Law Record, using the nascent paper to argue for more student housing.
He entered politics when he ran for the Congressional Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district as a Democrat in 1954. He lost that race, but he ran again in 1956. In a major upset, he narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Harris Ellsworth. In association with Robert J. Alexander, he wrote The Struggle for Democracy in Latin America, which was published in 1961.
When he was in Congress from 1957 through 1961, Porter quickly became known as a strong liberal. He backed admitting China to the United Nations, opening trade with China and halting nuclear testing. Partly as a result, he was defeated for reelection in 1960 Republican Edwin R. Durno.
In 1980, Porter made an unsuccessful attempt to win the Democratic primary in the United States Senate election, but lost the nomination to state Senator Ted Kulongoski, who lost the general election. Porter made several other attempts to return to Congress: in 1964, he lost the Democratic primary to Robert Duncan, and lost again in 1966, 1972, 1976, and 1980.
After returning to private law practice in Eugene in 1965, Porter was noted as one of the main proponents for the removal of a controversial Christian cross from Skinner Butte in Eugene. He also fought against building a nuclear power plant near Eugene, fought for the decriminalization of marijuana, and was opposed to the Vietnam War.
- "Contrarian Congressman Charles O. Porter, 86". Washington Post. Associated Press. January 6, 2006. p. B08. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- Willis, Henny (May 21, 1980). "Packwood, Kulongoski get set for Senate campaign debates". The Register-Guard. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- United States Congress. "Charles O. Porter (id: P000439)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Cached version of Priscilla Porter's obituary[permanent dead link] from The Register-Guard
- Guide to the Charles O. Porter papers at the University of Oregon
- Charles O. Porter at Find a Grave