John Chandler Gurney

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John Chandler Gurney

John Chandler "Chan" Gurney (born May 21, 1896 in Yankton , South Dakota ; †  March 9, 1985 ibid) was an American politician ( Republican Party ) who represented the state of South Dakota in the US Senate .


John Gurney attended public schools in Yankton. During the First World War he served with the rank of sergeant in a unit of the US Army , which served in Europe from 1918 to 1919. After returning to the United States, he returned to work for his family's seed and nursery company, Gurney's Seed and Nursery Company . Between 1926 and 1932 he ran the radio station WNAX in Yankton before moving to Sioux Falls in 1932 , where he worked in the oil business.

In 1936 Gurney's first candidacy for a seat in the US Senate was unsuccessful; two years later he won the election for the second Senate seat from South Dakota. After re-election in 1944, he remained in the Senate from January 3, 1939 to January 3, 1951. He was chairman of the Defense Committee between 1947 and 1949 . In 1950 he tried to be re-elected, but lost his party's primary to Francis H. Case .

After his political career, Gurney was appointed to the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1951 . This was a subordinate to the US Department of Commerce , but independently working authority, which was responsible for safety regulations in civil aviation. In 1954 he became its chairman, which he remained until 1964. He retired in Yankton, where he died in 1985.

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