Stewart Udall Ê

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Stewart Udall

1920-

Secretary of Interior

Stewart Udall was born in Saint Johns, Arizona, on January 31, 1920. After serving as an Army Air Force gunner during World War II, he received a law degree from the University of Arizona in 1948. From a law practice in Tucson, Arizona, he was elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat, and subsequently was twice reelected.

In Congress, he was best known for his efforts on behalf of the country's natural resources. Udall promoted policies such as the purchase of land for national forests, construction of plants to desalinize water and control of water pollution.

President Kennedy appointed him Secretary of the Interior, a post he retained under President Johnson. As Secretary, Udall suspended the selling of public lands in order to stop the exploitation resulting from outmoded land laws. He promoted the "Parks for America" program, in order to address the problem of diminishing open spaces and recreational areas.

In addition, Udall helped establish new wildlife refuges and ranges. Among his writings are The Quiet Crisis (1972) and The Energy Balloon (1974).