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Culbert L. Olson


Picture of Culbert L. Olson
CA Blue Book
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-06-1934 Democratic SD-38 403886 Win
11-08-1938 Democratic Governor 1391734 Win
11-03-1942 Democratic Governor 932995 Loss

Candidate Biography:

Culbert Levy Olson
Born: November 7, 1876 in Fillmore, Utah Territory [now Utah]
Married: Kate Jeremy (in 1905)
Child: John W. Olson
Died: April 13, 1962 in Los Angeles, CA

1897-1901: Secretary, Congressman William H. King
1904: Candidate for Utah State Assembly (Lost)
1916-1920: Senator, Utah State Legislature
1920: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
1934: Chairman, California Democratic Party
1940: Was determined to be a "responsible party" for the bugging of Gordon H. Garland's hotel room by the Assembly Investigating Committee on Interference With the Legislature ("Call Committee")

  • LEGISLATION: On October 7, 1940, Governor Olson signed AB4x1 (1940), which removed the Communist Party as a ballot-qualified political party in California on the grounds that it was "foreign-controlled, and for that reason should not be entitled to legal recognition in the political life of America." He further noted that "Such irrational objections cannot be reconciled with a sense of loyalty to American institutions." 
  • "It is that, for practically the first time in her history, California has a Governor of strongly radical backing... Their first legislative program, for example, calls for repeal of the Criminal Syndicalism Act... socialized medicine... permitting social workers to engage in politics and half a dozen other strongly leftist schemes." - Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1938.
  • In 1939, Olson was the target of three attempted recalls. The recalls failed to qualify for the ballot.
  • In 1940, Olson was the target of two attempted recalls. The recalls failed to qualify for the ballot.
  • John W. Olson was a primary candidate for CD-26 in 1954 (LOST).
  • PLACENAME: Culbert L. Olson Grove (in Humboldt County) was named for Governor Olson in 1940.
  • QUOTE: "It is the responsibility that grows out of our Western pioneer tradition which we so proudly retain. Pioneers are not afraid of the future." (State Papers, p. 264)

Source: State Papers and Public Addresses of Governor Culbert L. Olson (1942), edited by Stanley Mosk
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []