Gaylord Anton Nelson (1916 - 2005) MP

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Nicknames: "Happy Nelson"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Clear Lake, Polk, Wisconsin, United States
Death: Died in Kensington, Montgomery, Maryland, United States
Cause of death: Cardiovascular failure
Occupation: Founder, Earth Day; US Senator; US Governor
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Gaylord Anton Nelson

Gaylord Anton Nelson (June 4, 1916 – July 3, 2005) was an American politician from Wisconsin who served as a United States Senator and governor. The sponsor of several significant environmental bills, Gaylord Nelson is best known as the founder of Earth Day, currently celebrated on April 22 world-wide.

First elected Governor of Wisconsin in 1958, he guided state legislation providing funding for statewide conservation efforts in 1961. A year later he was elected to the U.S. Senate – the same year Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" sparked a world-wide grass-roots movement of environmentalism.

Nelson directly tied creation of the first Earth Day in 1970 with persuading U.S. politicians that environmental legislation had a substantial, lasting constituency. Like Octavia Hill, a social and environmental activist from a generation earlier, Nelson continued bi-partisan work on a wide variety of environmental and social issues. "Our goal," he said, "is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality, and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures." Gaylord Nelson on the 25th anniversary of Earth Day

Family

  • Parents: Anton Nelson (1880-1957) and Mary Bradt.

Married

  1. 1947 to Carrie Lee Dotson; Children: Gaylord, Jeffrey, Tia.

Printed works

  • Christofferson, Bill,"The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson," The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
  • "Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise," by Gaylord Nelson, with Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2002.
  • Nelson, Gaylord. America's Last Chance. Waukesha, Wis: Country Beautiful Corp.; Distributed by Rand McNally, 1970.

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Gaylord A. Nelson, U.S. Senator's Timeline

1916
June 4, 1916
Clear Lake, Polk, Wisconsin, United States
1930
1930
- 1934
Age 13
Clear Lake High School
1935
1935
- 1939
Age 18
San Jose State College
1939
1939
- 1942
Age 22
University of Wisconsin
1947
November 15, 1947
Age 31
1958
1958
Age 41
1961
1961
Age 44
1962
1962
Age 45
1963
1963
Age 46
1970
April 22, 1970
Age 53