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Dewey F. Bartlett
19th Governor of Oklahoma

In office
January 9, 1967 – January 11, 1971
Lieutenant George Nigh
Preceded by Henry Bellmon
Succeeded by David Hall
United States Senator
from Oklahoma

In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by Fred R. Harris
Succeeded by David Boren
Member of the Oklahoma Senate

In office
Personal details
Born Dewey Follett Bartlett
(1919-03-28)March 28, 1919
Marietta, Ohio, U.S.
Died March 1, 1979(1979-03-01) (aged 59)
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
Resting place Calvary Cemetery
36°01′46.3″N 95°56′04.4″W / 36.029528°N 95.934556°W / 36.029528; -95.934556 (Dewey F. Bartlett Burial Site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ann Chilton Smith
Children Dewey F. Bartlett Jr.
Alma mater Princeton University
Profession Oilman
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Flag of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942-1946
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

Dewey Follett Bartlett Sr. (March 28, 1919 – March 1, 1979) was an American politician who served as the 19th Governor of Oklahoma from 1967 to 1971, following his fellow Republican, Henry Bellmon. In 1966, he became the first Roman Catholic elected governor of Oklahoma, defeating the Democratic nominee, Preston J. Moore of Oklahoma City. He was defeated for reelection in 1970 by Tulsa attorney David Hall in the closest election in state history. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1972 and served one term. In 1978, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and did not run for reelection that year. He died of complications of lung cancer in 1979.[1]

Early life[]

Dewey Follett Bartlett was born to David A. and Jessie Bartlett in Marietta, Ohio, and attended schools in Marietta and Lawrenceville, New Jersey.[1] Bartlett graduated from Princeton University with an undergraduate degree in geological engineering in 1942 after completing his senior thesis, titled "Water-flooding an oil formation", under the supervision of Glenn L. Jepsen and Kenneth DePencier Watson.[2] Bartlett was the president of his senior class while a student at Princeton.[3]

Following graduation from Princeton, Bartlett enlisted in the Navy; then served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a dive bomber during World War II in the Pacific theatre.[3] After the war, he moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he held various jobs in farming, ranching, and the oil industry, inheriting ownership of the Tulsa-based Keener Oil and Gas Company from his father, David A. Bartlett.

Political career[]

Prior to becoming governor, Bartlett served in the Oklahoma Senate from 1962 to 1966.[4]

As governor, he made major changes to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, pushed for school consolidation, and vetoed a school code bill.[5] In 1970, he was the first Oklahoma governor eligible to seek a second term.[5] In the general election, he was challenged by then-Tulsa County Attorney David Hall. In the closest gubernatorial election in state history, Hall unseated Bartlett by a vote of 338,338 to 336,157.[6]

Following his defeat for reelection as governor, he served for one term in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 1979 after winning the seat previously held by Democrat Fred R. Harris. He narrowly defeated U.S. Congressman Ed Edmondson in the 1972 election riding on President Richard Nixon's coattails. During his tenure in Congress, he took a conservative stance on most issues and championed oil and gas interests during the energy crisis of the 1970s. However, he suffered health problems and, rather than face a very difficult reelection against popular Democratic Governor David Boren, decided not to seek reelection. Two months after retiring from the U.S. Senate, he died in Tulsa from complications of lung cancer, and is buried in the city's Calvary Cemetery. In 1990 he was inducted into the Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame[7] and in March, 2006, Congress passed a bill renaming the U.S. Post Office in Tulsa in his honor.[8]


Bartlett married Ann Smith, a native of Seattle, Washington on April 2, 1945 at Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California.[9] They had three children: Dewey F. Bartlett Jr., Michael and Joanie.[1]

His son, Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. served as mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 2009 until losing reelection to G. T. Bynum in 2016,[10] served as a member of the Tulsa City Council from 1990 to 1994, and has inherited the Keener Oil and Gas Company from his father.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Burke, Bob. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Bartlett, Dewey Follett (1919 - 1979)." Retrieved November 23, 2012.[1]
  2. Bartlett, Dewey F. (1942) (in en). Water-flooding an oil formation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, Department of Geological Engineering. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "BARTLETT, DEWEY FOLLETT (1919–1979)". Oklahoma Historical Society. 
  4. Who is Who in the Oklahoma Legislature: 29th-36th, 1963-1978 Legislative Reference and Research Division, 1963.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hudson, Geneva Johnston (AuthorHouse, 2005). Statesman or Rogue: Elected to Serve. ISBN 1-4208-2503-8
  6. Cached biography from Oklahoma Department of Libraries Archived March 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Gov. Dewey Bartlett, Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame (accessed 2014-04-22).
  8. "Archived copy". 
  9. Stanley, Tim. Ann Bartlett, former first lady, dies at 92, Tulsa World as published in The Oklahoman, January 27, 2013. (accessed June 30, 2013)

Further reading[]

External links[]

Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Bellmon
Governor of Oklahoma
January 9, 1967 – January 11, 1971
Succeeded by
David Hall
United States Senate
Preceded by
Fred R. Harris
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Oklahoma
Served alongside: Henry Bellmon
Succeeded by
David Boren
Party political offices
Preceded by
Henry Bellmon
Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma
1966, 1970
Succeeded by
Jim Inhofe
Preceded by
Pat J. Patterson
Republican nominee for United States Senator from Oklahoma
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Robert B. Kamm

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