Dewey F. Bartlett

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Dewey F. Bartlett
Dewey Bartlett.jpg
19th Governor of Oklahoma
In office
January 9, 1967 – January 11, 1971
Lieutenant George Nigh
Preceded by Henry Bellmon
Succeeded by David Hall
United States Senator
from Oklahoma
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by Fred Roy Harris
Succeeded by David L. Boren
Member of the Oklahoma State Senate
In office
Personal details
Born Dewey Follett Bartlett
(1919-03-28)March 28, 1919
Marietta, Ohio, U.S.
Died March 1, 1979(1979-03-01) (aged 59)
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer
Resting place Calvary Cemetery
36°01′46.3″N 95°56′04.4″W / 36.029528°N 95.934556°W / 36.029528; -95.934556 (Dewey F. Bartlett Burial Site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ann Chilton Smith
Children Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.,
Alma mater Princeton University
Profession Oilman
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Flag of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1946
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Air Medal

Dewey Follett Bartlett Sr. (March 28, 1919 – March 1, 1979) was an American politician who served as the 19th Governor of Oklahoma from 1967 to 1971, following his same-party Republican predecessor, Henry Bellmon. In 1966, he became the first Roman Catholic elected governor of Oklahoma, defeating the Democratic nominee, Preston Moore of Oklahoma City. He was defeated for reelection in 1970 by Tulsa attorney David Hall in the closest election in state history. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1972 and served one term. In 1978, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and did not run for reelection that year. He died of the disease in 1979.[1]

Early life

Dewey Follett Bartlett was born to David A. and Jessie Bartlett in Marietta, Ohio, and attended schools in Marietta and Lawrenceville, New Jersey.[1] He was president of the senior class at Princeton University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in geological engineering in 1942.[2]

Following his university graduation, he enlisted in the Navy; then served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a dive bomber during World War II in the Pacific theatre.[2] After the war, he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he held various jobs in farming, ranching, and the oil industry, inheriting ownership of the Tulsa-based Keener Oil and Gas Company from his father, David A. Bartlett.

Political career

Prior to becoming governor, he served in the Oklahoma Senate from 1962 to 1966.[3]

As governor, Bartlett made major changes to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, pushed for school consolidation, and vetoed a school code bill.[4] In 1970, he was the first Oklahoma governor eligible to seek a second term.[4] In the general election, he was challenged by then-Tulsa County Attorney David Hall. In the closest gubernatorial election in state history, Hall unseated Bartlett by a vote of 338,338 to 336,157.[5]

Following his defeat, he served for one term in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 1979 after winning the seat previously held by Democrat Fred R. Harris. He narrowly defeated U.S. Congressman Ed Edmondson in the 1972 election riding on President Richard Nixon's coattails. During his tenure in Congress, he took a conservative stance on most issues and championed oil and gas interests during the energy crisis of the 1970s. However, he suffered health problems and, rather than face a very difficult reelection against popular Democratic Governor David Boren, decided not to seek reelection. Two months after retiring from the U.S. Senate, he died in Tulsa from complications of lung cancer, and is buried in the city's Calvary Cemetery. In 1990 he was inducted into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame[6] and in March, 2006, Congress passed a bill renaming the U.S. Post Office in Tulsa in his honor.[7]


Bartlett married Ann Smith, a native of Seattle, Washington on April 2, 1945 at Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California.[8] They had three children: Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr., Michael and Joanie.[1]

His son, Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. has served as the mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 2009 until losing reelection to G. T. Bynum in 2016,[9] as a former member of the Tulsa City Council from 1990 to 1994, and has inherited the Keener Oil and Gas Company from his father.


  1. ^ a b c Burke, Bob. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Bartlett, Dewey Follett (1919 - 1979)." Retrieved November 23, 2012.[1]
  2. ^ a b "BARTLETT, DEWEY FOLLETT (1919–1979)". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  3. ^ Who is Who in the Oklahoma Legislature: 29th-36th, 1963-1978 Legislative Reference and Research Division, 1963.
  4. ^ a b Hudson, Geneva Johnston (AuthorHouse, 2005). Statesman or Rogue: Elected to Serve. ISBN 1-4208-2503-8
  5. ^ Cached biography from Oklahoma Department of Libraries Archived March 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Gov. Dewey Bartlett, Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame (accessed 2014-04-22).
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2006. Retrieved June 26, 2006.
  8. ^ Stanley, Tim. Ann Bartlett, former first lady, dies at 92, Tulsa World as published in The Oklahoman, January 27, 2013. (accessed June 30, 2013)
  9. ^

Further reading

  • Bonner, Jeremy (2007). The road to renewal: Victor Joseph Reed & Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905-1971. CUA Press. ISBN 0-8132-1507-2.
  • Smith, James (1993). Strategic calling: the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1962-1992. CSIS. ISBN 0-89206-237-1.

External links

  • 100 Years of Oklahoma Governors Biography
  • United States Congress. "Dewey F. Bartlett (id: B000200)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  • "Dewey F. Bartlett". Find a Grave. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  • Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Bartlett, Dewey
  • Dewey F. Bartlett Collection and Photograph Collection at the Carl Albert Center
  • Voices of Oklahoma interview with Ann Bartlett. First person interview conducted on June 5, 2010, with Ann Bartlett, wife of Dewey F. Bartlett.
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Bellmon
Governor of Oklahoma
January 9, 1967 – January 11, 1971
Succeeded by
David Hall
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Fred Roy Harris
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Oklahoma
Served alongside: Henry Bellmon
Succeeded by
David Boren
Party political offices
Preceded by
Henry Bellmon
Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma
1966, 1970
Succeeded by
Jim Inhofe
Preceded by
Pat H. Patterson
Republican nominee for United States Senator from Oklahoma
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Robert B. Kamm
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