George W. Norris

George William Norris (* July 11, 1861 at Clyde in York Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, † September 2, 1944 in McCook, Nebraska ) was an American lawyer and politician, the Member of the House of Representatives of the United States and U.S. Senator was for the state of Nebraska.

Early years

George William Norris was born the eleventh of twelve children of poor parents on a farm near Clyde, Ohio. He attended local schools and later studied at the Baldwin University (now Baldwin - Wallace College) in Berea law, while incidentally earned money as a teacher. He then made ​​his Bachelor of Laws degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana. In 1885 he settled in the prosperous city of Beaver City over in Nebraska and began to work as a lawyer. He was for three legislative sessions district attorney ( county attorney ) of the Furnas County and 1895-1902 district judge ( district judge ). In 1889 he married Pluma Lashley († 1901), who bore him three daughters, and moved in 1899 to McCook. With his second wife, Ellie Leonard, whom he married in 1903, he had no children.

Political rise

On March 4, 1903 began his tenure as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he ( until March 3, 1913) was active for a total of five legislative sessions. 1910 Norris was a key figure in the dispute with the Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon, in the forfeited this part of his political power. For example, the speaker was no longer President of the United States House Committee on Rules and could not personally appoint members of the other house committees also.

Norris presented in 1912 not seek re-election because he got himself elected to the Senate. His term lasted from March 4, 1913 to January 3, 1943. President Woodrow Wilson He leaned foreign policy from and spoke out against entry of the U.S. into World War II. He is considered the father of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA ) and was responsible for the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also campaigned for the rights of workers, a, such as the Norris -La Guardia Act of 1932, in the course of which a law was passed, the employment contracts for non- legally declared, where workers had to do without to engage in trade union.

1928 and 1932 Norris supported the Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt, however, are almost without even the Democratic Party. When he was re-elected in 1936, he was not one of the parties belonging.


During his tenure, Norris was chairman of the following committees:

  • Committee on the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians
  • Committee on Patents
  • Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
  • Senate Judiciary Committee

Death and legacy

George William Norris was responsible for a number of lasting change. His progressive politics lingered up to today in part. For example, Norris was the driving force in the transformation of the Nebraska Legislature, which is the only U.S. state has a unicameral today. The first major dam, which was built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, was named in his honor Norris Dam. He also gave the Norris Highway and the City of Norris in Tennessee his name.

George William Norris died on September 2, 1944 in McCook, after he had previously retired from public life.