Ex-Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall Dies at 90

Spearheaded '60s conservation movement, Wilderness Act
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2010 7:21 AM CDT
Ex-Secretary of Interior Stewart Udall Dies at 90
In this 1965 file photo, Secretary of the interior Stewart Udall gives Liz Carpenter, press secretary for Ladybird Johnson, the "Chief Otter" award at Peaks of Otter, Va., on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   (Anonymous)

Stewart Udall, an elder in a famed political family who led the Interior Department as it vastly expanded public lands and helped win passage of major environmental laws, has died at the age of 90. During his 1961-1968 tenure as Interior secretary, Udall sowed the seeds of the modern environmental movement. He later became a crusader for victims of radiation exposure from the government's Cold War nuclear programs.

Udall, brother of the late 15-term congressman Morris Udall, served six years in Congress as a Democrat from Arizona, and then headed the Interior Department from 1961 through 1968—helping to write several far-reaching pieces of legislation, including the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protects millions of acres from logging, mining, and other development. His son Tom and nephew Mark also became congressmen, then both were elected to the Senate in 2008. Current Interior secretary Ken Salazar called Udall "one of the greatest secretaries of the Interior in my lifetime." (Read more Stewart Udall stories.)

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