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Alvin Edward O'Konski (May 26, 1904 - July 8, 1987) was a United States Representative from Wisconsinmarker. Born on a farm near Kewauneemarker, he attended the local public schools and the University of Iowamarker. He graduated from State Teachers College (now University of Wisconsin‚ÄďOshkosh) in Oshkosh, Wisconsinmarker in 1927 and from the University of Wisconsin (now University of Wisconsin‚ÄďMadisonmarker) in 1932. He was a high school teacher in Omromarker and Ocontomarker from 1926 to 1929, a member of the faculty of Oregon State Collegemarker at Corvallismarker from 1929 to 1931, and a faculty member at the University of Detroitmarker from 1936 to 1938. He was superintendent of schools in Pulaski, Wisconsinmarker from 1932 to 1935 and an instructor at a junior college in Coleraine, Minnesotamarker in 1936. He was an educator, journalist, lecturer, editor and publisher at Hurley, Wisconsinmarker from 1940 to 1942.

O'Konski was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1942 as a Republican, and was re-elected 14 times. He lost a bid for the Republican senatorial nomination to succeed Joseph McCarthy in 1957.

O'Konski represented a district that included much of the northwestern part of the state, including Rhinelandermarker and Superiormarker. However, after the 1970 census, Wisconsin lost a district, and most of O'Konski's territory was merged with the district of two-term Democrat Dave Obey. O'Konski retained only about 40 percent of his former territory, a disadvantage he was unable to overcome despite his seniority. Even though Richard Nixon carried most of the district in the 1972 election, O'Konski was soundly defeated.

While still serving in Congress, O'Konski founded WAEO-TV, the NBC affiliate for most of north-central Wisconsin. He sold the station in 1976; it is now WJFW-TVmarker.

O'Konski lived in Rhinelander until his death in 1987. He is buried at St. Hedwig's Cemetery.

Notes

  1. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary/index.asp?action=view&term_id=1771&keyword=o%27konski


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