Frank E. Moss

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Courtesy The Salt Lake Tribune

Frank E. “Ted” Moss was a United States Senator from the state of Utah. He was the last Democratic senator, serving from 1959 to 1977, before he was defeated by Republican Orrin Hatch. While in the Senate, he was one of the original supporters of the Medicaid program. He also became an expert on water and wrote The Water Crisis in 1967. He was one of the Senate's leading champions of the environment, leading the fight against air and water pollution. He was its foremost conservationist, whose legislation created more national parks than anyone before him or since. He sponsored legislation to facilitate nuclear disarmament and he worked for world peace. He enacted most of the major consumer rights legislation enacted in the last half of the 20th century. In addition, he fought and won several battles to protect the health of the nation, including winning approval of legislation he authored to bar cigarette advertising on television. He served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Aeronautics and Space and gave the U.S. space program renewed energy. He helped create the Senate Budget Committee and the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

In September 1990, the Federal Court in Salt Lake City was named the Frank E. Moss Courthouse in his honor.

Moss was born on September 23, 1911, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah in 1933. He earned his Juris Doctor degree cum laude from the George Washington University Law School in 1937. He was a member of the legal staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1937 to 1939. He then opened a private practice in Salt Lake City and clerked for Utah Supreme Court justice James H. Wolfe.

His first election victory came in 1940 when he was elected a judge of Salt Lake City’s Municipal Court. He then served in the judge advocate general’s department of the U.S. Army Air Corps in the European Theater during World War II. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a colonel. After the war, he was reelected city judge and served there until 1950. He then served as county attorney for Salt Lake County from 1950 to 1959. He was unsuccessful in his bid for the nomination for Utah’s governor in 1956.

Moss was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Phyllis, had four children. He died on January 29, 2003.