Bob Bartlett
Mr. Alaska
Bob Bartlett
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Excerpted from Address:
“Bob Bartlett' by the Honorable
Warren G. Magnuson, U.S. Senator from
Washington from the E.L. “Bob” Bartlett Statue
Dedication Presented in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol on April 27, 1971.

“…It is a distinct honor to have the opportunity of speaking on this occasion in honor of my late friend, Bob Bartlett, United States Senator from Alaska, 1959-1968. In selecting this man as a subject for tribute, the Legislature of the State of Alaska has acted in keeping with the great ennobling traditions of Statuary Hall. For surely, of all the men and women associated with the long, arduous, and finally triumphant struggle for statehood, none can be said to surpass in achievement the work of Bob Bartlett, a man of many talents, and, for many years, a leader in Alaskan affairs…

…Upon entering the House of Representatives in 1945 – I just don't know how he did this – he was appointed to seven committees, on all of which he performed with remarkable ability, either writing or successfully promoting a number of bills designed to bring Federal funds to Alaska, to expedite relief of the housing shortage in Alaska, and other projects. In the following Congress – the 80th - he served on the Committee on Public Lands, the Agriculture Committee, and the Armed Services Committee; for all of which he wrote more successful fills than any other Member, no fewer than 13 of his measures becoming law.

…As a member of the Senate, Bob Bartlett revealed those same strong qualities as a man and uncommon human being for which he had been known during his many years of service in the House. As a member of the Commerce Committee and, later on, the Appropriations Committee, he established himself as a recognized expert in economic matters of all kinds relating not only to his own State but the whole Pacific Rim. Yes, he was the chairman of the Merchant Marine Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, but I think sometimes his great work was involved in fisheries, because that was near and dear to him. He was regarded as on e of the experts in the final decade of his life,

Again in 1966 he was the overwhelming choice of the citizens of Alaska to be their U.S. Senator. So much and far more is the public record of Bob Bartlett. But I want to say another thing – I think it is significant that on the program I was told to talk about Bob Bartlett, not Senator Bartlett. He revealed, of course, all through his service in Washington the same strong qualities as a man and an uncommon human being, for which he was well known and respected in Alaska.

…Now Statuary Hall is filled with a very select group of men and women of some true distinction. Some known as the founding fathers of our Republic. Others are associated with our more recent history.

Our Nation is filled with men of distinction in science or industry, in government or the military. Our society is filled with its heroes, its stars and superstars – often very transitory.

Rare indeed is the man or woman who is called friend by all who pass his way; whose service is not self-serving; whose dedication seeks no personal glory. A good man, a nice man, can finish first. And Bob Bartlett did just that.

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