Malcolm Wallop

Malcolm Wallop
United States Senator
from Wyoming
In office
January 3, 1977 â€“ January 3, 1995
Preceded by Gale McGee
Succeeded by Craig Thomas
Member of the
Wyoming House of Representatives
In office
January 6, 1969 â€“ July 2, 1973
Member of the
Wyoming Senate
In office
July 6, 1973 â€“ June 5, 1976
Personal details
Born (1933-02-27)February 27, 1933
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died September 14, 2011(2011-09-14) (aged 78)
Big Horn, Wyoming, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater Yale University[1]
Occupation Rancher, Politician, Elected Official

Malcolm Wallop (February 27, 1933 – September 14, 2011) was an American rancher and politician who served as a United States Senator from Wyoming from 1977 to 1995. He was a member of the Republican Party.

Early years

Wallop was born in New York City, graduated from the Cate School in Santa Barbara, California, and attended Yale University, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall. His ancestors in England were titled English aristocracy, and his roots in Wyoming stemmed back to pioneer ranchers in the Big Horn area. His paternal grandfather, Wyoming cattle rancher Oliver Henry Wallop, emigrated to the United States from England in the late 19th century and inherited the Earldom of Portsmouth. He is thought to be the only person to have served in both the British House of Lords and the Wyoming House of Representatives.[2]

Following his graduation from Yale in 1954, Malcolm Wallop served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant from 1955 to 1957.[1] After his discharge from the Army, Wallop began ranching, and entered politics in 1969 as a successful candidate for the Wyoming House of Representatives. He served two terms, followed by a stint in the Wyoming State Senate from 1973 to 1976.[1][2]

In 1974, Wallop sought the Republican gubernatorial nomination,[2] but was defeated by Richard R. "Dick" Jones, a trucking executive from Cody and Powell in Park County in northwestern Wyoming. Jones went on to lose the general election in a heavily Democratic year to Edgar Herschler of Kemmerer in Lincoln County in southwestern Wyoming.

In 1976, in another nationally Democratic year, Wallop successfully unseated three-term Democratic U.S. Senator Gale W. McGee, winning 55 percent of the vote to win a seat in the United States Senate.[2]

Senate service

Wallop was elected to the United States Senate by defeating three-term incumbent Gale McGee, making a campaign pledge to serve only two terms,[3] although he went on to serve three. During his Senate tenure, Wallop supported strong national security, tax reform (including reductions in estate and gift taxes), and other elements of Reagan conservatism.[2]

While in the Senate, Wallop served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Select Committee on Intelligence. From 1981 to 1983, he served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.[2]

In his first term, Wallop authored the legislation that established the Congressional Award program to recognize outstanding volunteerism among America's youth. The 1977 Wallop Amendment to the Surface Mining Control Act was hailed by property rights advocates for forcing the federal government to compensate property owners whose ability to mine was undercut by regulation. Three years later, Wallop successfully amended the Clean Water Act to protect states' interests.[citation needed]

His bill to cut inheritance and gift taxes in 1981 was a key component of President Ronald Reagan's tax reform package and is remembered as one of the most substantive changes to tax policy that decade,[2] and four years earlier, Wallop was partially responsible for phasing out President Jimmy Carter's windfall profits tax.

In 1977, Wallop was one of nine Senators to vote against the Senate adopting a stringent code of ethics intended to assist with the restoration of public confidence in Congress.[4]

In 1982, Wallop was re-elected by a 14-point margin over Democrat Rodger McDaniel, a Wyoming state legislator. In his second term, Wallop supported the 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative,[2] a proposed missile defense system intended to protect the United States from attack from nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.[5]

In 1988, Wallop won his final term by just 1,322 votes over his opponent, Democratic state senator John Vinich.[citation needed] Wallop's last term was characterized largely by his participation in the foreign policy and trade debates of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a member of the Helsinki Commission and traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union as an arms control negotiator. Wallop was also a strong advocate of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and U.S. participation in the World Trade Organization.

From 1990-94, he was the ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and in 1992, was a key force behind passage of the far-reaching Energy Policy Act.

In 1994, Wallop opted out of a race for a fourth term. He was succeeded by Republican Craig Thomas. Upon his retirement from the Senate, The Economist wrote of Wallop: "Although his detractors have steadily grown in number, even Democrats grudgingly admitted to liking his candor and his willingness to be stupendously politically incorrect."[2]

Post-Senate career and death

After his retirement from the Senate in January 1995, Wallop founded the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, a Virginia-based non-profit group that lobbies for constitutionally limited government and a strong national defense.[1] George Landrith is the current president of the Institute, a position he has held since 1998. One of the Institute's early staffers was Myron Ebell.[6]

In 1996, Wallop served as General Chairman and Executive Director of the Steve Forbes presidential campaign, which succeeded in winning primary victories in Delaware and Arizona.[1]

Wallop died in 2011, after a protracted period of illness, in Big Horn, Wyoming. He was 78.[7]

Personal life

Wallop was married four times:[8]

  • Vail Stebbins (1956–65; divorced); (three sons and one daughter)
  • Judith Warren (1967–1981; divorced)
  • French Carter Gamble Goodwyn (1984–2001; divorced)
  • Isabel Brooke Thomasson Ferguson (2005–2011, his death)


Malcolm Wallop was the second son of Jean Moore Wallop and the Hon. Oliver Malcolm Wallop, son of Oliver Wallop, 8th Earl of Portsmouth, making him a first cousin, once removed, of the current Earl of Portsmouth.[9] As a result he was in remainder to the Earldom and subsidiary titles. His sister, Jean, married Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon in 1956. Lord Carnarvon was a childhood friend of Queen Elizabeth II and was in 1969 appointed her horse racing manager.[10] Senator Wallop was therefore an uncle of the current Earl of Carnarvon. Among his cousins are the present Earl Cadogan and the Marquess of Abergavenny.[11]

Queen Elizabeth II was a house guest of Senator and Mrs. (French) Wallop at Canyon Ranch in Big Horn, Wyoming, in 1984 during the Queen's visit to the United States with Lord and Lady Carnarvon (née Jean Wallop, the Senator's sister).[12]

Wallop's nephew is George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon, whose family seat in England, Highclere Castle, has achieved prominence as a filming location for the ITV television series Downton Abbey.[13]

Jean Moore Wallop, the Senator's mother, was the daughter of Edward Small Moore and granddaughter of American lawyer, jurist, financier and industrialist William Henry Moore.

Works by Malcolm Wallop

  • Wallop, Malcolm. "The Environment: Air, Water & Public Lands," In A Changing America: Conservatives View the 80s from the United States Senate, edited by Paul Laxalt and Richard S. Williamson, pp. 133–56. South Bend, Ind.: Regnery/Gateway, 1980.
  • Wallop, Malcolm, and Angelo Codevilla. The Arms Control Delusion. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1987.


  1. ^ a b c d e Senator Malcolm Wallop bio. Frontiers of Freedom. Accessed 2016-01-11
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fox, Margalit (September 15, 2011). "Malcolm Wallop, Senator From Wyoming, Dies at 78". New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ "SENATE, 86‐9, ADOPTS A STRICT ETHICS CODE TO BUILD CONFIDENCE". New York Times. April 2, 1977.
  5. ^ Baucom, Donald R. "Missile Defense Milestones" Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine. Federation of American Scientists. Accessed 2016-01-11
  6. ^ "Scoop issue 139". The National Center for Public Policy Research. 10 August 1996. Archived from the original on 1 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
  7. ^ Malcolm Wallop, Senator From Wyoming, Dies at 78
  8. ^ "Malcolm Wallop". Daily Telegraph. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Conqueror 39". Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Time Magazine October 22, 1984
  11. ^ "mhp: Franklin D. Roosevelt". Archived from the original on 19 June 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Ranch's Royal Guest Arrives for Weekend", AP, The New York Times, October 13, 1984.[1]
  13. ^ Pickett, Mary - "Downton Abbey" Close to Wyoming Rancher's Heart", Billings Gazette, January 11, 2013.[2]

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
John S. Wold
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wyoming
(Class 1)

1976, 1982, 1988
Succeeded by
Craig L. Thomas
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Gale McGee
U.S. senator (Class 1) from Wyoming
Served alongside: Clifford P. Hansen, Alan K. Simpson
Succeeded by
Craig Thomas
Political offices
Preceded by
Howell Heflin
Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee
Succeeded by
Ted Stevens