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Bennett, Wallace F. (Wallace Foster), 1898-1993



  • Existence: 1898 - 1993

Biographical History

Wallace Foster Bennett (1989-1993) was born in Salt Lake City and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a politician from 1950 to 1974. He passed away in Utah.

Born to John Foster and Rosetta Wallace Bennett in Salt Lake City on November 13, 1898, Wallace Foster Bennett was a school principal and businessman involved in various business ventures. During his business and public career, Senator Bennett delivered hundreds of speeches and continued to be a much-sought-after speaker in retirement. He is the author of two books, Faith and Freedom(1950) and Why I Am A Mormon(1958), and numerous articles.

On September 6, 1922, Wallace Bennett married Frances Marion Grant, the eighth daughter of Heber J. Grant, the seventh president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Bennett's have five children, three sons and two daughters, twenty-seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mrs. Bennett is also an author, having written Glimpses of a Mormon Family(1968).

Wallace went to public schools in Salt Lake City and later attended the University of Utah. After interrupting his schooling for service in World War I as a second lieutenant of infantry, he graduated with an A.B. degree in 1919.

Bennett served as principal of the San Luis Stake Academy, Manassa, Colorado (a school of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for one year (1919-1920). He entered his father's firm, Bennett Glass and Paint Company, as an office clerk in 1920. Successively, he became production manager, sales manager, general manager, and from 1938 to 1950, president. In 1939, with three partners, he found the Bennett Motor Company, a Salt Lake City Ford dealership and served as its president until 1950. Since 1950, he has served as chairman of the board of directors of both Bennett Glass and Paint and the Bennett Motor Company. In addition, he has served as director on the boards of a number of other western banks and corporations.

Bennett's ability and popularity as a business man became widely recognized. After serving as vice president of the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association and president of the National Glass Distributors Association in the 1930s, he was elected president of the national Association of Manufacturers in 1949. He was the first representative of small business to serve as president of the NAM.

When politics attracted his interest, he ran in 1950 as a Republican candidate against Democratic Senator Elbert D. Thomas, who for eighteen years had been one of the key figures in the New Deal. Thomas was considered virtually unbeatable, but Bennett won that election and has been reelected three times, in 1956, 1962, and again in 1968. Upon completion of his fourth term in 1974, he became the first popularly elected senator in Utah's history to retire voluntarily.

During his 24 years in the Senate, Wallace F. Bennett became recognized as one of the nation's leading fiscal and monetary experts. His Senate colleagues of both parties and widely varying political philosophies had high praise and esteem for his expertise and contribution when he retired in 1974. His record of Senate service is long and varied. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (from 1969 to 1973) and the Senate Finance Committee (from 1971 to 1973), he was in a unique position to deal with national monetary and fiscal problems. He enjoyed remarkable success in recommending and achieving solutions to problems affecting our coinage system, the soundness of the dollar and preserving a sound and dynamic banking system.

His expertise was not limited to his major committee assignments, however. They ranged from membership on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy to a leading role in the enactment of the Truth-in-Lending Law; from the Vice-Chairmanship of the Senate Ethics Committee to major housing legislator; from the Committee on the Chaplain and an occasional assignment to open the Senate with prayer to sponsorship of major fund legislation to achieving much needed water and power projects for his arid state of Utah; from a major role in the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to a leading and successful advocate of improved air service for Utah and the Intermountain West; and, he was the only man in Congress who successfully modified the 1968 Gun Control Act when he supported a bill removing the cumbersome record keeping provisions on rifle and shotgun ammunition.

As one of the Senate's outstanding conservatives, Bennett generally opposed the multitude of antipoverty programs introduced during the Johnson Administration. He felt that the programs were not properly structured to do the job of eliminating poverty. They were too elaborate, poorly managed and caused a wasteful drain of revenue at the taxpayer's expense. He emphasized that the skill, the training, and the ability of its people was America's greatest resource. With this in mind, Senator Bennett supported legislation for certain forms of federal aid to higher education and vocational training and strongly opposed the repeal of Section 14 (b) of the National Labor Relations Act. He favored the basic rights of the American working man to accept or reject the services of the organized labor unions on their merits.

The conservation and proper usage of our natural resources has always been a deep concern of Senator Bennett's. He played a key role in approval of the Upper Colorado River Act and has stated the primary disappointment of his legislative career is that the project [was]. . . still uncompleted in 1974. In addition, he was instrumental in passage of the Small Reclamation Projects Act, the Watershed Act of 1954, the Dixie Reclamation Project and was especially instrumental in obtaining proper funding for many Utah water projects -- all of which have benefited arid areas throughout the nation. Under the Eisenhower Administration, he played an important role in developing the Mission 66 Program which has resulted in dramatic improvements in all national parks and monuments. It was Senator Bennett who first called attention to the scenic possibilities of the Canyon lands areas and he was a leader in the battle to make it a National Park.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and the Joint Committee on Defense Production, he authored the Industrial Dispersal Amendment, enacted in 1956, which played an important part in bringing the missile industry to Utah. Later, his depletion allowance amendments for Beryllium and for minerals in the Great Salt Lake led to the establishment of new, major industries in Utah. He supported President Nixon's Southeast Asia policy and United States military involvement in Vietnam, believing that "Communist success in South Vietnam would go far in convincing other Communist elements throughout the world that new 'Wars of Liberation' can succeed."

He passed away in 1993 in Utah.

Wikipedia, via WWW, 13 January 2015 (Wallace Foster Bennett was born November 13, 1898, to John Foster and Rosa Elizabeth Wallace Bennett in Salt Lake City, Utah; graduated from LDS High School in 1916; enrolled at the University of Utah, where he majored in English; interuppted his studied to serve in the United States Army in 1918; returned to the University of Utah and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1919; served as the principal of San Luis Stake Academy in Manassa, Colorado for a year; married Frances Marion Grant, daughter of Heber J. Grant, one of the presidents of the LDS church; had five children: Wallace, David, Robert, Rosemary, and Frances; joined Bennett's Paint and Glass Company in 1920, which was established by his father; eventually became president and general manager, and later chairman of the board, of the company; went on to become president of the Bennett Motor Company, the Cardon Jewelry Company, the National Glass Distributors Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers; also served as vice-president of two companies and director of three additional companies, hosted a daily radio program, and authored the words for an LDS hymn ("God of Power, God of Right," #20 in the 1985 LDS Hymnal) and two books; ran against an incumbent senator for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1950; won and was re-elected to three more terms, serving until 1974; passed away on December 19, 1993, in Salt Lake City), and Douth, George, Leaders in Profile: The United States Senate. (New York, N.Y.: Speer and Douth, Inc. 1972) pp. 399-404.

Found in 45 Collections and/or Records:

Wallace F. Bennett papers of various legislation, 1951-1974

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 2 Sub-Series B
Scope and Contents

Subseries contains newspaper clippings, bills, letters and legislative resolutions between 1951 and 1974. These items document Senator Bennett's contribution to and action regarding legislation he did not help originate. Individual papers contents and arrangement are similar to Series 2A, with the exception that copies of bills are only occasional and the papers contain a great deal of correspondence. Materials dated 1951-1974.

Dates: Other: 1951-1974

Wallace F. Bennett papers on independent agencies of the executive branch, 1955-1974

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 3 Sub-Series C
Scope and Contents Series contains correspondence, bills, and memorandums between 1957 and 1973. These papers document the relationship between Senator Bennett's office and the various independent agencies, such as the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Veterans Administration of the executive branch of the federal government. The materials indicate that the contacts initiated by Senator Bennett's office were of three main types--those on behalf of a constituent or special interest group, those requiring an...
Dates: Other: 1955-1974

Wallace F. Bennett papers on Utah, 1957-1974

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 4
Scope and Contents

Series contains correspondence from firms, constituents, special interest groups, and schools in Utah between 1957 and 1974. Preserved in these two series are materials related either solely or primarily to Utah matters and schools. Also filed here are copies of letters relating to both a Utah matter and a national matter or piece of legislation. Materials dated 1957-1974.

Dates: Other: 1957-1974

Wallace F. Bennett personal papers, 1951-1971

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 8
Scope and Contents

Series contains letters, pamphlets, invitations, and newspaper clippings outlining Senator Bennett's activities, business interests and connections, and his insurance program and trips. Materials dated 1951-1971.

Dates: Other: 1951-1971

Wallace F. Bennett political activities and campaign papers, 1953-1974

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 5
Scope and Contents

Series contains newspaper clippings, pamphlets, legislative resolutions, and correspondence documenting the political activities and campaigns of Senator Bennett and his staff in the Senate, and the national Republican Party in Utah. The views of the inner workings of the Senate regarding Committee membership, etc. and the political patronage that is the inevitable accompaniment of a public office, are well documented. Materials dated 1953-1974.

Dates: Other: 1953-1974

Wallace F. Bennett praise papers, 1959-1970

 Sub-Series — Box 585: Series 6 [Barcode: 31197230357821]
Identifier: MSS 20 Series 6 Sub-Series C Sub-Series 4
Scope and Contents note

Sub-subseries contains letters, notes and press releases praising the efforts and work of Wallace F. Bennett between 1959 and 1970.

Dates: Other: 1959-1970

Wallace F. Bennett press releases, 1951-1970

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 6 Sub-Series C Sub-Series 3
Scope and Contents note

Sub-subseries contains press releases on political activities and legislation between 1951 and 1970. Materials dated 1951-1970.

Dates: Other: 1951-1970

Wallace F. Bennett public papers, 1948-1974

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 6
Scope and Contents

Series contains newspaper articles, press releases, correspondence, speeches, and notes detailing political figures, events and subjects which Wallace Bennett was involved with between 1948 and 1974. Materials dated 1948-1974.

Dates: Other: 1948-1974

Wallace F. Bennett publicity papers, 1951-1974

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 20 Series 6 Sub-Series B
Scope and Contents

Subseries contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, press releases, and campaign materials between 1951 and 1974. These papers outline the publicity Senator Bennett received through television, radio, newspaper, newsletters, photos, etc. Materials datd 1951-1974.

Dates: Other: 1951-1974

Wallace F. Bennett request correspondence, 1958-1973

Identifier: MSS 20 Series 1 Sub-Series D
Scope and Contents

Subseries contains correspondence asking the senator for autographs, information on various bills, requests for publications, and other subject matters between 1958 and 1973. Does not include materials between 1959 and 1964. Filed with the original is a carbon copy of Senator Bennett's reply, usually a form letter. Materials dated 1958-1973.

Dates: Other: 1958-1973

Additional filters:

Archival Object 39
Collection 6
Colleges and Universities 40
Education 40
Politics, Government, and Law 31
Agriculture and Natural Resources 30
Business, Industry, Labor, and Commerce 30
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Correspondence 30
Material Types 30
Mines and Mineral Resources 30
Political Campaigns 30
Advertising and Marketing 29
Agriculture 29
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 29
Civil Procedure and Courts 29
Civil Rights 29
Clubs and Societies 29
Disease 29
Economics and Banking 29
Elementary and Secondary Education 29
Environment and Conservation 29
Environmental Activism 29
Environmental Conditions 29
Fisheries and Wildlife 29
Forestry and Logging 29
Home and Family 29
International Relations 29
Labor History 29
Labor Unions 29
Legislators -- United States -- History 29
Legislators -- Utah -- History 29
Maps 29
Media and Communication 29
Medicine and Health 29
Mental Health 29
Military 29
Missions and Missionaries 29
Parks and Playgrounds 29
Pollution 29
Public Finance 29
Public Works 29
Publications 29
Railroads 29
Religion 29
Retail trade 29
Science 29
Science, Technology, and Health 29
Social Life and Customs 29
Sports and Recreation 29
Student Life 29
Territorial Government 29
Transportation 29
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989 29
Water and Water Rights 29
Letters 28
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) 12
Doctrine and Covenants -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. 10
Hopi Tribe 10
Linguistics 10
Middle East 10
Provo (Utah) 10
Notes 8
Resolutions, Legislative 8
Bills 5
Press releases 5
Speeches, addresses, etc., American 5
Pamphlets 4
Speeches, addresses, etc. 4
Photographs 3
Campaign speeches -- Utah 2
Memorandums 2
Patriarchal blessings (Mormon Church) 2
Applications for positions 1
Appointment books 1
Articles 1
Calendars 1
Drafts (Documents) 1
Film excerpts 1
Financial records 1
Financial statements 1
Free trade 1
Genealogies 1
Greeting cards 1
Guest books 1
Handbooks and manuals 1
Interviews 1
Invitation cards 1
Lead industry and trade -- United States 1
Legislators -- United States -- Photographs 1
Lists 1
Manuscripts for publication 1
Mineral industries -- United States 1
Political aspects 1
Postcards 1
Receipts (Acknowledgments) 1
Receipts (Financial records) 1
Slides (Photography) 1
Tariff -- United States 1
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century 1
Zinc industry and trade -- United States 1
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