Houston I. Flournoy

Houston I. Flournoy

Houston I. Flournoy

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Houston Irving Flournoy (October 7, 1929 – January 7, 2008) was an American politician who served as a California legislator and State Controller. He later became a professor of public administration at the University of Southern California (USC).

Born in New York City, he attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he was active in the Cornell University Glee Club and the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He studied under Clinton Rossiter, a Cornell faculty member who was an authority on The Federalist. After graduating from Cornell in 1950, he served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. In 1956, he earned a Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University. While in New Jersey, he worked in politics as a researcher for the New Jersey Legislature and an aide to Senator H. Alexander Smith.

In 1957, he took a faculty position in the Pomona College Department of Political Science, where he quickly won tenure and remained until 1960. In 1960, he successfully ran for California State Assembly as a Republican Party candidate, and served from 1961-1967. In 1966, he was elected California State Controller and served as Controller from 1967 to 1975.

In 1974 he ran for Governor of California. He defeated the more conservative choice, Lieutenant Governor Ed Reinecke, in the GOP primary but then lost a surprisingly close election to Jerry Brown in a heavily Democratic year. Flournoy, who blamed the September 1974 Gerald Ford pardon of Richard Nixon for his loss,...
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