Owen Aspinall

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Owen Aspinall

Owen Stuart Aspinall (born September 21, 1927 in Grand Junction , Colorado , †  February 7, 1997 in Mesa County , Colorado) was an American politician . Between 1967 and 1969 he was governor of American Samoa .


Owen Aspinall was the son of Congressman Wayne N. Aspinall (1896-1983) from Colorado. During the Second World War he served in the US Army . He then studied anthropology at the University of Denver until 1949 . After a subsequent law degree at the American University in Washington, DC and his admission to the bar in 1955, he began to work in this profession. Between 1957 and 1961 he was an assistant district attorney in Mesa County. He then went to American Samoa, where he married a local woman in 1966. Between 1961 and 1962 he served as attorney general there; in 1962 he became Secretary of State , which included the office of lieutenant governor . Politically, he was a member of the Democratic Party .

On August 1, 1967, Aspinall was appointed to succeed Hyrum Rex Lee as the new governor of American Samoa. He held this office until July 31, 1969. Right from the start there were disputes with the locals over a school reform. In the course of the dispute, many teachers and school officials resigned. Then he prohibited a Samoan woman from marrying a Korean . This again led to tension. At that time there was also an escalating conflict in American Samoa between members of the Chinese and Korean minorities.

After President Richard Nixon took office , Owen asked Aspinall to replace him. This took place on July 31, 1969 with the simultaneous appointment of John Morse Haydon as his successor. He died on February 7, 1997.

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