Dennis DeConcini

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Dennis DeConcini
Dennis DeConcini.jpg
United States Senator
from Arizona
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Paul Fannin
Succeeded by Jon Kyl
Pima County, Arizona Attorney
In office
Personal details
Born Dennis Webster DeConcini
(1937-05-08) May 8, 1937 (age 81)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patty
Residence Bel Air, Los Angeles, California
Seattle Washington
Glendale, Arizona
Alma mater University of Arizona
Profession Attorney
Website U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini: Arizona
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service US Army (1959–60)
US Army Reserve (1960–67)
Rank Judge Advocate General Corps
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Dennis Webster DeConcini /ˌdkənˈsni/ (born May 8, 1937) is an American lawyer, philanthropist, politician and former Democratic U.S. Senator from Arizona. The son of former Arizona Supreme Court Judge Evo Anton DeConcini, he represented Arizona in the United States Senate from 1977 until 1995.

Background information

DeConcini was born in Tucson, Arizona, the son of Ora (née Webster) and Evo Anton DeConcini.[1]

His father was Judge on the Arizona State Superior Court for 10 years, then served as the Arizona Attorney General for one two-year term from 1948-49 before being appointed to the Arizona State Supreme Court where he served as a Judge for four years from 1949–53. DeConcini received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona in 1959, and his LLB from the University of Arizona in 1963. He then worked as a lawyer for the Arizona Governor's staff from 1965-67. He founded the law firm of DeConcini, McDonald, Yetwin & Lacy (where he is still a partner) with offices in Tucson, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.[citation needed]

He is a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.[2]

Political career

DeConcini served one elected term as Pima County, Arizona Attorney (1973–1976), the chief prosecutor and civil attorney for the county and school districts within the county.[citation needed]

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 as a Democrat, having defeated Republican Party (GOP) U.S. Representative Sam Steiger for the open seat left by retiring GOP Senator Paul Fannin. Steiger had first won a bruising primary in 1976 against the more conservative U.S. Representative John B. Conlan. DeConcini served three terms (1976-1994) in the Senate.

Panama Canal

DeConcini sponsored an amendment (the DeConcini Reservation) to the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 which allows the United States "to take such steps as each [the U.S. or Panama] deems necessary, in accordance with its constitutional processes, including the use of military force in the Republic of Panama, to reopen the Canal or restore the operations of the Canal, as the case may be."

Keating Five

DeConcini was widely noted as a member of the Keating Five in a banking and political contribution ethics investigation during the 1980s which grew out of the U.S. Savings and Loan Crisis. The Senate investigation involved Charles Keating and Lincoln Savings/Continental Homes, the sixth largest employer in the state of Arizona at the time. The Senate Ethics Committee looked into the actions of five United States Senators in relation to their actions connected with Charles Keating and concluded that Senators DeConcini, McCain, Glenn and Riegle "broke no laws or Senate ethics rules, but were aggressive in their actions on behalf of Charles Keating." DeConcini did not run for a fourth term.

Senate committees

Portrait of U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini

DeConcini served on the Senate Appropriations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government. He served on the Subcommittees on Defense, Energy and Water Development and Foreign Operations. DeConcini also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks, along with the Subcommittees on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights, the Constitution and the Courts.[citation needed]

DeConcini served on the Select Intelligence Committee and was Chairman of the Committee in 1993 and 1994 and also chaired the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). DeConcini also served on the Rules Committee and Select Committee on Indian Affairs.[citation needed]


In February 1995 DeConcini was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), where he served until May 1999.[3][4][5]

In 2006, he was selected by then-Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano (later Secretary of Homeland Security) to serve as a member of the Arizona Board of Regents.[citation needed]

Congressional Papers

DeConcini's congressional papers are held at the University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections.

Business career

DeConcini managed Shopping Centers, Inc. in Tucson, Ariz, from 1963–64 and 1967–73. He also managed family corporation and partnerships involved in Arizona and California real estate development projects. He has served on the boards of Global Health Science, Inc., Schuff Steel Company, and Greater Arizona Savings Bank.[citation needed]

DeConcini served on the board of directors of the Corrections Corporation of America (now known as CoreCivic) from 2008 to 2014.[6]

Starting in 2010, some individuals protested his membership on the board, saying his involvement is "not suitable for a public figure like DeConcini." Although he claims he has not lobbied for harsher immigration laws and sentencing practices, he admits meetings with the Arizona Department of Corrections Director Chuck Ryan and "publicly speaking in favor of" for-profit prisons.[7][8][9]

It was alleged that, in 1979, DeConcini had insider knowledge about the proposed route of the Central Arizona Project and that he used this knowledge to purchase land that he resold six years later to the federal government for a gain of almost $1,000,000. [10][11]


Dennis DeConcini (top row, far right) with the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.

DeConcini is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), a global nonprofit organization that combats child sexual exploitation, child pornography, and child abduction.[12]


  • Senator Dennis DeConcini: From the Center of the Aisle by Dennis DeConcini & Jack L. August Jr., (University of Arizona Press February 1, 2006); ISBN 978-0-8165-2569-0


  1. ^ United States Code Congressional and Administrative News. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  2. ^ "National Advisory Council". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-11. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  6. ^ "Three CCA directors set to step down". The Nashville Post. April 4, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  7. ^ Hodai, Beau (June 21, 2010). "Ties That Bind: Arizona Politicians and the Private Prison Industry". In These Times. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ Cook, Nancy (June 30, 2010). "How the Recession Hurts Private Prisons". Newsweek. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ Herraras, Mari (March 29, 2012). "Morals Before Profit". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "DeConcini bought CAP land after planning began", The Prescott Courier, October 21, 1988, page 11 (via Google news); retrieved July 10, 2017.
  11. ^ Arizona Republic, September 18, 1993, page 8.
  12. ^ "ICMEC Board Members". Archived from the original on 2015-07-03. 

External links

  • United States Congress. "Dennis DeConcini (id: D000185)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Speaking about President Carter and Senate on KJZZ Radio
  • Dennis DeConcini on IMDb
  • Parry, Romani, DeConcini & Symms
  • Deconcini Mcdonald Law Firm
  • Deconcini on Panama Canal
  • Book Award
  • DeCONCINI & Warner
  • DeConcini Backs Senator Obama
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Paul Fannin
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Arizona
Served alongside: Barry Goldwater, John McCain
Succeeded by
Jon Kyl
Political offices
Preceded by
David Boren
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Arlen Specter
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sam Grossman
Democratic nominee for
U.S. Senator from Arizona (Class 1)

1976, 1982, 1988
Succeeded by
Sam Coppersmith
Retrieved from ""
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