%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
Nevada Government & Politics
World War II & Post-War

The Era of Pat McCarran

Patrick A. McCarran was the most important national political figure associated with Nevada in the middle years of the 20th century.  He was born in Reno in 1876, the son of an Irish immigrant who had become a Nevada rancher.  McCarran graduated from the University of Nevada, then herded sheep for awhile.  McCarran herded sheep, dabbled in local politics and studied to be a lawyer.

McCarran practiced law in Nevada, and was elected Nye County District Attorney in 1906.  He served on the Nevada Supreme Court from 1913 until 1919.  In 1932 he was elected a United States Senator and remained a Senator until his death in 1954.  He was a strong anti-communist during the "Cold War" between the United States and the Soviet Union.  McCarran became a powerful political figure and was responsible for several national security and immigration laws.  The Senator also sponsored important legislation encouraging and regulating commercial air travel, and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is named for him.

Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society