Having spent ten years as Senate Republican whip, Alan Simpson tackles the most controversial issues on the national agenda with scathing honesty, and offers sensible solutions. Author of Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press, Simpson provides audiences with anecdotes, humor and cutting-edge commentary on politics, the media, Social Security and Medicare reform, the economy and more.
Serving in the Senate from 1978 to 1997, Simpson was an active force on the Judiciary, Finance, Environment and Public Works Committees, on a Special Committee on Aging and served as chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee.
A visiting lecturer in Political Science at the University of Wyoming, Simpson formerly served as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
For the past one hundred years, a steady string of Simpson’s has practice law in the sparsely populated state of Wyoming—“the land of high altitude and low multitude” as Al’s Dad often phrased it! It began with Al’s grandfather, William L. Simpson, and was followed by his father, Milward L. Simpson. Alan K. Simpson was the third generation lawyer in his family. Al’s two sons, William L. and Colin M. Simpson carry on in the family tradition today, practicing law in the town of Cody.
Alan Kooi Simpson was born September 2, 1931, and is a native of Cody, Wyoming. He is the second son of Milward L. and Lorna K. Simpson. His entire childhood was spent in Cody where he graduated from CodyHigh School. Before entering college, Simpson spent a postgraduate year at CranbrookSchool in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to have a look at life outside the CowboyState. He then returned to begin his college career, entering the University of Wyoming in 1950 and completing his degree, a Bachelor of Science in Law, 1954. While at the University, Simpson was an active member of the Student Senate, a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, president of the “W” Club Lettermen’s organization, and he lettered in both varsity football and basketball for the Cowboys.
Upon graduation from college, he joined the Army and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. Simpson was married in the summer of 1954 to the former Ann Schroll of Greybull, Wyoming and was ordered to Fort Benning, Georgia in November of that year. He served overseas in the 5th Infantry Division and in the 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels) in the final months of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in 1956, Wyoming beckoned once again and Simpson returned to the University of Wyoming to complete his study of law, earning a Juris Doctorate degree in 1958.
After being admitted to the Wyoming Bar and the United States District Court in 1958, and serving for a short time as Wyoming Assistant Attorney General, Simpson joined his father, Milward L. Simpson, and later Charles G. Kepler, the law firm of Simpson, Kepler, and Simpson in his hometown of Cody. He would practice law there for the next 18 years. During that time, Simpson was very active in all civic, community, and state activities. He also served 10 years as City Attorney.
A member of a political family - his father served both as Governor of Wyoming from 1954 to 1958, and as United Stated Senator from Wyoming from 1962 to 1966 - Simpson chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader, and Speaker Pro-Tem. His only brother, Peter was a member of the Student Senate, and also served as a member of the Wyoming Legislature, and presently serves as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the University of Wyoming.
In 1978, Simpson ran for, and was elected to, the United States Senate. After a successful term, he was re-elected in 1984 with 78% of the vote and then again in 1990 to a third term with 65% of the vote. Following his first term in the Senate, Simpson was elected by his peers to the position of the Assistant Majority Leader in 1984 - and served in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final term on January 3, 1997.
From January of 1998 until June 2000, Simpson was visiting Lecturer and the Director of the Institute of Politics at HarvardUniversity’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In the Fall of 2000 he returned to his Alma Mater, the University of Wyoming, as a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department. He is also a partner in the Cody and Denver law firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge and Hersh and a consultant in the WashingtonD.C. government relations firm, The Tongour – Simpson Group. He continues to serve on numerous corporate and non-profit Boards and travel throughout the country giving speeches on a variety of subjects. His book published by William Morrow Company, Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press, chronicles his personal experiences and views of the Fourth Estate.