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Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Anton Nelson (born June 4, 1916) was born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin[?]. In 1939 he received a BA degree from San Jose State College[?] in California and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School[?] in 1942. In the same year he enlisted in the US Army and fought in World War II for nearly four years, serving as first lieutenant during the Battle of Okinawa. After returning to Madison, Wisconsin, Nelson stood for office in 1946 but was not elected. He married Carrie Lee Dotson in 1947 and practiced law from 1946 to 1958. In 1948 he was elected to the Winconcin Senate and ten years later, in 1958, was elected Governor of Winconsin. Four years later, in 1962, Nelson was elected to the US Senate

Nelson has always been passionate about the environment. In 1963 he travelled on the Conservation Tour[?] with President John F. Kennedy and was the founder of Earth Day, the first of which was held in 1970. Nelson left the Senate in 1980 and became director of the Wilderness Society[?] in Janueary 1981. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in September 1995 in recognition of his environmental work.



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