John Howard Pyle, Governor

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John Howard Pyle

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Sheridan, Sheridan, WY, USA
Death: November 29, 1987 (81)
Tempe, Maricopa, AZ, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Miller Pyle and Mary Sue Anderson

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Immediate Family

About John Howard Pyle, Governor

John Howard Pyle (March 25, 1906 – November 29, 1987) was the ninth Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, serving from 1951 to 1955. He was a Republican. A 1930 graduate of Arizona State University, he also was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.


Born in 1906 in Sheridan, Wyoming, Pyle was the first governor of Arizona to be born in the 20th century and was the Program Director of KFAD (now KTAR) Radio in Phoenix from 1930 to 1951. He also served as a war correspondent during World War II and covered the surrender ceremony of the Japanese. Pyle defeated pioneering female politician Ana Frohmiller in his 1950 campaign for governor. He served as Governor of Arizona from 1951 until 1955.

He earned honorary LL.D. degrees from University of Redlands, Chapman University, Arizona State University, Lebanon College and Bradley University.

In 1953, he attempted to break up a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon compound in Colorado City, Arizona, in what became known as the Short Creek Raid, which resulted in two dozen men arrested and 236 children placed in foster homes. This move alienated many voters in the state after photographs of tearful children being forcibly removed from their distraught mothers appeared in the newspapers. Pyle subsequently lost his 1954 re-election bid to former Democratic Senator Ernest W. McFarland.

Pyle was an aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1950s.


Pyle died on November 29, 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, and is buried there in the Double Butte Cemetery.

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John Howard Pyle, Governor's Timeline

March 25, 1906
Sheridan, Sheridan, WY, USA
November 29, 1987
Age 81
Tempe, Maricopa, AZ, USA