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For other persons named David Hall, see David Hall (disambiguation)
David Hall
20th Governor of Oklahoma

In office
January 11, 1971 – January 13, 1975
Lieutenant George Nigh
Preceded by Dewey Bartlett
Succeeded by David Boren
County Attorney of Tulsa County, Oklahoma

In office
February 10, 1962 – January 2, 1967
Preceded by Robert D. Simms
Succeeded by "Buddy" Fallis (as District Attorney)
Personal details
Born (1930-10-20)October 20, 1930
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died May 6, 2016(2016-05-06) (aged 85)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jo Evans
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
University of Tulsa
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 1952–1954 (active)
1954-1956 (reserve)
Rank US Air Force O3 shoulderboard.svg Captain
Battles/wars Korean War

David Hall (October 20, 1930 – May 6, 2016) was an American Democratic politician, He served as the 20th Governor of Oklahoma from January 11, 1971 to January 13, 1975. Prior to winning election as governor, Hall served as county attorney for Tulsa County and a law professor at the University of Tulsa.

After leaving office, Hall was convicted of bribery and extortion.[1] He became the first Oklahoma governor to be convicted of criminal acts committed during his tenure. He served 19 months of a three-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Safford.[2][3]

Early life

David Hall was born in Oklahoma City, and was the son of William Arthur "Red" Hall and Aubrey Nell French. Hall attended Classen High School in Oklahoma City, where he played on the 1948 Class A high school basketball State Championship team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma in 1952; he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Hall was a member of the Reserve Officer TrainingCorps in college and after graduating he joined the United States Air Force. He completed his initial training at Lackland Air Force Base, then was assigned as a flight navigation instructor at San Marcos Air Force Base, Texas. Hall served until 1954, then joined the Air Force Reserve, in which he served until 1956. Hall attended Harvard Law School for a year, then transferred to the University of Tulsa College of Law, from which he graduated in 1959. From 1959 to 1962, he served as assistant county attorney for Tulsa County, Oklahoma, and was county attorney from 1962 to 1967. From 1968 to 1971, he served as a law professor at the University of Tulsa.

Governor of Oklahoma

In the 1966 election, Hall finished a close third in the Democratic primary for governor. Four years later, he defeated incumbent Republican Governor Dewey F. Bartlett in the closest gubernatorial election in state history, and took office only after a recount confirmed his victory. As governor, he championed education and transportation issues. His administration issued a landmark educational public policy analysis book of Oklahoma's education system entitled "Measuring up and Moving On." Hall and his appointees to the state highway commission and turnpike authority were committed to expanding the state's roads. During his term as governor, the state drastically expanded the vocational technical (later renamed career-tech) system of facilities offering low or no cost training certificates for residents. As governor, he signed into law the Oklahoma Income Tax Act, which enacted Oklahoma's income tax code.[citation needed]

Hall's administration and policy initiatives were opposed and attacked on a regular basis by the state's largest newspaper, the Daily Oklahoman, and its powerful publisher, billionaire Edward Gaylord. Gaylord had supported Hall's opponent, former Governor Bartlett.[citation needed]

Unsuccessful re-election bid

Hall was unsuccessful in his quest for re-election in 1974. He obtained only 27 percent of the vote, a third-place finish in the Democratic primary. He trailed U.S. Congressman Clem McSpadden and State Representative and Oklahoma Baptist University professor David L. Boren, who eventually won the nomination and the general election over the Republican Jim Inhofe. Coincidentally, Inhofe succeeded Boren in the United States Senate in 1994 and still holds the seat.

Charges and retirement

Three days after leaving office in 1975, Hall was indicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges, in a conspiracy involving Hall and Oklahoma Secretary of State John Rogers willfully steering State of Oklahoma employee retiree funds to investment funds controlled by Dallas, Texas, businessman W. W. "Doc" Taylor. At Hall's trial, Rogers testified that he became an informant after Hall offered him a bribe. Hall was convicted of bribery and extortion,[1] and became the first Oklahoma Governor to be convicted of criminal acts committed during his tenure. After exhausting all appeals, he served 19 months of a three-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Safford. (John Ehrlichman, of Watergate fame, was also housed at the same time at Safford.)[2] Upon his release from prison in 1978, he was disbarred by the Oklahoma Bar Association, which effectively prevented him from practicing law in Oklahoma. Leaving the public spotlight, he moved to La Jolla, California, where he worked in real estate and other ventures.[4]

Return to Oklahoma

On February 13, 2007, Hall made his first appearance in the state of Oklahoma since he left office over thirty years before. He appeared at the Oklahoma History Center to help launch a new exhibit that features all of the Governors of the State of Oklahoma. Hall remarked that it was "like coming back to heaven." He authored a memoir, 2012's Twisted Justice: A Memoir of Conspiracies and Personal Politics which features his recollections of his time in office, and his reflections on his prison sentence and subsequent career.[4]


Hall died at a San Diego area hospital on May 6, 2016. He had earlier been implanted with a pacemaker and had expected to be discharged, but then developed a blood clot that ultimately went to his brain and caused a fatal stroke.[5] He was 85.


External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Preston J. Moore
Democratic nominee for Governor of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
David Boren
Political offices
Preceded by
Dewey Bartlett
Governor of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
David Boren

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