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Clarence C. Dill
The Life of a Western Politician
Kerry E. Irish

Born into a poor Ohio farm family in 1884, Clarence C. Dill immigrated as a young man to Spokane, Washington. There, despite being a virtual stranger, a political newcomer, and a Democrat in a Republican stronghold, he won election as Washington’s Fifth District representative to Congress. Reelected in 1916 as a Woodrow Wilson progressive, Dill opposed American entry into World War I. Voters promptly removed him from office in 1918, his political career apparently ended.

But in 1922, Dill upset popular Republican Senator Miles Poindexter. In the Senate, he championed regulatory control of radio broadcasting and led Congress in the drafting of the Radio Act of 1927 and the Federal Communications Act of 1934. At the same time, Dill was befriended by Franklin Roosevelt, becoming one of the president’s early Senate allies. Dill effectively lobbied Roosevelt to authorize the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.

Just as mysteriously as when he first entered politics, Dill retired in 1934 at the height of his prestige. This first-ever biography reveals Dill’s deserved place as one of the Northwest’s most influential political leaders.

Kerry E. Irish received a B.A. in history at George Fox University and his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He is an associate professor at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon.


Clarence C. Dill

Photographs, notes, bibliography, index

6" x 9"
264 pages (2000)

ISBN 978-0-87422-190-9

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WSU Press, PO Box 645910, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164-5910 USA

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