A nice biography of Scoop Jackson
The Henry M. Jackson Fuoundation
Henry Martin Jackson was born in Everett, Washington, on May 31, 1912,
and died there on September 1, 1983 at the age of 71. At his death, he
was the senior U.S. Senator from the State of Washington and had
served in Congress for nearly 43 years.
A graduate of the University of Washington where he received his law
degree in 1935, "Scoop" Jackson, as he became known, was admitted to
the Washington Bar and began practice with an Everett law firm. The
lure of public life was strong, however, and in the fall of 1938, he
was elected to the prosecutor's office at the age of 26. He remained
in public life until his death.
As prosecuting attorney, Jackson won a reputation as a foe of gambling
and bootlegging, setting the stage for his election to Congress in
1940 from Washington's Second District. In the House, he became a
specialist in military affairs and nuclear energy. He served in the
Army as an enlisted man during WWII until recalled to his
congressional duties by President Roosevelt. In 1945, Congressman
Jackson officially visited Buchenwald, a few days after the death camp
was liberated. While serving in the House he played an influential
role on issues of particular interest to the West like public lands,
reclamation, and hydroelectric power development.
Jackson was reelected five times to the House of Representatives and,
in 1952, successfully challenged the incumbent Harry P. Cain for his
Senate seat. For more than 30 years, Senator Jackson was deeply
involved in the major issues of American political life, from the
drama of the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 to the liberation of
Soviet Jewry in the 1970's. He became an acknowledged authority on
national security, energy, and environmental issues.
From 1963 to 1980, Senator Jackson served as chairman of the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and its predecessor, the
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. In this capacity, he played
a leading role in the conservation legislation of the 1960's and the
energy legislation of the 1970's. As an "environmentalist" long before
the term was fashionable, Senator Jackson authored the landmark
National Environmental Policy Act and sponsored legislation to
preserve vast park lands and wilderness areas throughout the United
States, including the North Cascades Park, Olympic National Park, and
the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington State. He also authored the
Alaska and Hawaii Statehood Acts.
Senator Jackson served as a member of both the Joint Committee on
Atomic Energy and the Armed Services Committee for many years and was
the ranking Democratic member of the Armed Services Committee at his
death. He was an expert on nuclear weapons and strategic issues and a
member of the Select Committee on Intelligence.
As a member of the Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Jackson
conducted pioneering congressional inquiries on the National Security
Council and policy-making at the Presidential level and chaired the
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for a long period.
In 1960, Senator Jackson chaired the Democratic National Committee
during the Kennedy Presidential campaign. Although picked by his
colleagues in informal polls as the Senator best qualified to be
President, Senator Jackson was defeated in efforts to win the
Democratic Presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976.
Additional information on Senator Jackson can be found at the
University of Washington library archives.