Charles O. Porter

Last updated
Charles O. Porter

Charles O. Porter (Oregon Congressman).jpg

From 1957's Pocket Congressional Directory of the Eighty-Fifth Congress.
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Oregon's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1961
Preceded by Harris Ellsworth
Succeeded by Edwin Russell Durno
Personal details
Born(1919-04-04)April 4, 1919
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Died January 1, 2006(2006-01-01) (aged 86)
Eugene, Oregon
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Priscilla Porter
Occupation attorney

Charles Orlando Porter (April 4, 1919 – January 1, 2006) was a politician from the U.S. state of Oregon.

Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Oregon State of the United States of America

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.


Early life

Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Frank Porter and Ruth Peterson, he graduated from high school in Eugene, Oregon and then went on to graduate from Harvard University with a B.S. in 1941. From there he went on to serve in the United States Army during World War II from 1941 to 1945. He then went back to Harvard Law School and graduated with an LL.B. in 1947. At Harvard Law, he partnered with several other returning veterans to found the Harvard Law Record , using the nascent paper to argue for more student housing.

Klamath Falls, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Klamath Falls is a city in and the county seat of Klamath County, Oregon, United States. The city was originally called Linkville when George Nurse founded the town in 1867. It was named after the Link River, on whose falls the city was sited. The name was changed to Klamath Falls in 1893. The population was 20,840 at the 2010 census. The city is on the southeastern shore of the Upper Klamath Lake and about 25 miles (40 km) north of the California–Oregon border.

Eugene, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Eugene is a city in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is at the southern end of the verdant Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Congressional career

He entered politics when he ran for the Congressional Representative for Oregon's 4th congressional district as a Democrat in 1954. He lost that race, but he ran again in 1956. In a major upset, he narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Harris Ellsworth. In association with Robert J. Alexander, he wrote The Struggle for Democracy in Latin America , which was published in 1961.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.

Oregons 4th congressional district

Oregon's 4th congressional district represents the southern half of Oregon's coastal counties, including Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane, and Linn counties and most of Benton and Josephine counties.

Democratic Party (United States) political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

When he was in Congress from 1957 through 1961, Porter quickly became known as a strong liberal. He backed admitting China to the United Nations, opening trade with China and halting nuclear testing. [1] Partly as a result, he was defeated for reelection in 1960 Republican Edwin R. Durno.

China State in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

In 1980, Porter made an unsuccessful attempt to win the Democratic primary in the United States Senate election, but lost the nomination to state Senator Ted Kulongoski, who lost the general election. [2] Porter made several other attempts to return to Congress: in 1964, he lost the Democratic primary to Robert Duncan, and lost again in 1966, 1972, 1976, and 1980.

Ted Kulongoski American judge

Theodore Ralph Kulongoski is a retired Jewish-American politician, judge and lawyer who served as the 36th Governor of Oregon from 2003 to 2011. A Democrat, he served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly and also served as the state Insurance Commissioner. He was the Attorney General of Oregon from 1993 to 1997 and an Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court from 1997 to 2001.

Robert B. Duncan American politician

Robert Blackford Duncan was an American politician from the state of Oregon. A Democrat, he served multiple terms in the Oregon Legislative Assembly and as a U.S. congressman from Oregon. In the Oregon House of Representatives he served as speaker for four years, and in the U.S. House he represented two different districts. The Illinois native and World War II veteran ran three unsuccessful campaigns to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

After returning to private law practice in Eugene in 1965, Porter was noted as one of the main proponents for the removal of a controversial Christian cross from Skinner Butte in Eugene. He also fought against building a nuclear power plant near Eugene, fought for the decriminalization of marijuana, and was opposed to the Vietnam War. [1]

Christian usually refers to:

Skinner Butte

Skinner Butte is a prominent hill on the north edge of downtown Eugene, Oregon, United States, near the Willamette River. Skinner Butte is a local landmark and the location of Skinner Butte Park, a municipal park. It is named after Eugene Skinner, the founder of Eugene. During the latter 20th century, it was the location of a cross which was removed in 1997.

Vietnam War 1955–1975 conflict in Vietnam

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.


He was married to Priscilla Porter, who died in 2002. They had four children: Don, Chris, Sam, and Anne. He died on New Year's Day, 2006, in Eugene, of Alzheimer's disease. [1]

Related Research Articles

Charles W. Fairbanks American politician, Senator, later Vice-President of the US

Charles Warren Fairbanks was an American politician who served as the 26th vice president of the United States from 1905 to 1909 and a senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1905. He was also the Republican vice presidential nominee in the 1916 presidential election.

Mark Hatfield American politician, former governor of Oregon

Mark Odom Hatfield was an American politician and educator from the state of Oregon. A Republican, he served for 30 years as a United States Senator from Oregon, and also as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. A native Oregonian, he served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II after graduating from Willamette University. After the war he earned a graduate degree from Stanford University before returning to Oregon and Willamette as a professor.

Tom Allen American politician

Thomas Hodge Allen is a former member of the United States House of Representatives representing Maine's 1st congressional district, and the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2008 against Republican incumbent senator Susan Collins. Allen lost to Collins.

Tonie Nathan American politician

Theodora Nathalia "Tonie" Nathan was an American political figure. She was the first woman, as well as the first Jew, to receive an electoral vote in a United States presidential election. She was the 1972 vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party and running mate of John Hospers, when Roger MacBride, a Republican elector from Virginia, cast the historic vote as a faithless elector.

1980 United States Senate elections

The 1980 United States Senate elections coincided with Ronald Reagan's victory in the presidential election. Reagan's large margin of victory over incumbent Jimmy Carter pulled in many Democratic voters and gave a huge boost to Republican Senate candidates.

1968 United States Senate elections

The 1968 United States Senate elections were elections for the United States Senate which coincided with the presidential election. Although Richard Nixon won the presidential election narrowly, the Republicans picked up five net seats in the Senate. Republicans would gain another seat after the election when Alaska Republican Ted Stevens was appointed to replace Democrat Bob Bartlett.

1966 United States Senate elections

The 1966 United States Senate elections was an election on November 8, 1966 for the United States Senate which occurred midway through the second term of President Lyndon B. Johnson. With divisions in the Democratic base over the Vietnam War, and with the traditional mid-term advantage of the party not holding the presidency, the Republicans took three Democratic seats. Despite Republican gains, the balance remained overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats, who retained a 64–36 majority. This was also the first election that occurred after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law.

John Jarman Son of John Henry Jarman I and Gran.

John Jarman was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma for 26 years from 1951 to 1977.

Thomas W. Thompson American politician

Thomas Weston Thompson was an American attorney and Federalist politician in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. He served as a United States Representative and United States Senator during the 1800s.

Frederick W. Mulkey American politician

Frederick William Mulkey was an American attorney and politician from the state of Oregon. A native of Portland, he began his political career on the Portland City Council, serving one year as its president. A Republican, he twice served as a United States Senator from Oregon, filling terms vacated by the deaths of the sitting Senator. He served a total of 81 days in the office.

Alexander G. Barry United States Army officer

Alexander Grant Barry was an American attorney and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Astoria, he was a World War I veteran and briefly a United States Senator from late 1938 to early 1939. A Republican, he later served in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Marcus Junius Parrott American politician

Marcus Junius Parrott was a delegate to Congress from the Kansas Territory from 1857 until 1861.

Jim Weaver (Oregon politician) American politician

James Howard Weaver is a former Democratic U.S. congressman from Oregon.

Edwin Durno American politician

Edwin Russell Durno was a physician, politician, an infantry sergeant who was awarded a Purple Heart, and a basketball player recognized in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

Elton Watkins American politician

Elton Watkins was a Congressman representing Oregon's 3rd congressional district for one term. The son of a Confederate soldier, Watkins would also serve as an assistant U.S. Attorney.

Eugene "Debbs" Potts Oregon state legislator, public administrator, founder of Historic Pottsville

Eugene "Debbs" Potts was an Oregon state legislator, public administrator, and founder of Historic Pottsville. Potts operated a farm machinery business and owned several small saw mills. He served twenty-four years in the Oregon State Senate which included 196 days as acting governor. He was also the first chairman of the Oregon Lottery Commission.

Brad Avakian American politician

Bradley Paul Avakian is an American politician who served as a Democrat in the Oregon House, the Oregon Senate, and as the state's nonpartisan elected Labor Commissioner.

Monroe Sweetland American politician

Monroe Mark Sweetland was an American politician in the state of Oregon. A native of the state, he served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly starting in 1953 for a total of ten years. A Democrat, he also twice ran and lost bids to serve as the Oregon Secretary of State and was a Democratic National Committeeman. Sweetland later served on the staff of the National Education Association, supporting passage of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968.

1980 United States Senate election in Oregon

The 1980 Oregon United States Senate election was held on November 4, 1980 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of Oregon. Republican candidate Bob Packwood was re-elected to a third term, defeating Democratic state senator Ted Kulongoski and Libertarian Tonie Nathan.


  1. 1 2 3 "Contrarian Congressman Charles O. Porter, 86". Washington Post . Associated Press. January 6, 2006. p. B08. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  2. Willis, Henny (May 21, 1980). "Packwood, Kulongoski get set for Senate campaign debates". The Register-Guard . Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Harris Ellsworth
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Edwin Russell Durno