John Howard Pyle

John Howard Pyle

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John Howard Pyle

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John Howard Pyle (March 25, 1906 – November 29, 1987) was the ninth Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, serving from 1951 to 1955. He was a Republican. A 1930 graduate of Arizona State University, he also was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Born in 1906 in Sheridan, Wyoming, Pyle was the first governor of Arizona to be born in the 20th century and was the Program Director of KFAD (now KTAR) Radio in Phoenix from 1930 to 1951. He also served as a war correspondent during World War II and covered the surrender ceremony of the Japanese. Pyle defeated pioneering female politician Ana Frohmiller in his 1950 campaign for governor.

In 1953, he attempted to break up a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon compound in Colorado City, Arizona, in what became known as the Short Creek Raid, which resulted in two dozen men arrested and 236 children placed in foster homes. This move alienated many voters in the state after photographs of tearful children being forcibly removed from their distraught mothers appeared in the newspapers. Pyle subsequently lost his 1954 re-election bid to former Democratic Senator Ernest W. McFarland.

Pyle was an aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1950s.

Pyle died in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, and is buried there in the Double Butte Cemetery.

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