John Bertrand Conlan

John Bertrand Conlan (born September 17, 1930) is a retired U.S. lawyer and Republican politician. He served as a State Senator from 1965 to 1972 and as a United States Representative from Arizona from 1973 to 1977.

John Bertrand Conlan
John Bertrand Conlan.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byEldon D. Rudd
Member of the Arizona Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1930-09-17) September 17, 1930 (age 89)
Oak Park, Illinois
Political partyRepublican
Alma materNorthwestern University
Harvard Law School
Occupationlawyer, college professor
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1956-1961

Early life and careerEdit

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Conlan is the son of Hall of Fame baseball umpire Jocko Conlan. He attended Illinois public schools and received a B.S. from Northwestern University, where he joined Delta Upsilon. He later graduated from Harvard Law School, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Cologne, and studied at The Hague Academy of International Law. Conlan was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1954 and commenced practice in Chicago. He then served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1961. Conlan has also taught geo-politics and American foreign policy at Arizona State University and the University of Maryland. He continued to practice law in Phoenix, Arizona. Conlon served in the Arizona Senate from 1967 to 1973.[1]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

In Congress, he was known as a strong and articulate conservative. In 1976, he ran for the United States Senate to succeed retiring Republican Senator Paul Fannin. He was opposed in the Republican primary by fellow U.S. Representative Sam Steiger which Conlan narrowly lost.[2] The general election was won by former Pima County Attorney Dennis DeConcini.

During his time in Congress, he became a prominent critic of the elementary school curriculum known as Man: A Course of Study, which taught students about the lifestyle and culture of the Netsilik Inuit. At its peak in 1972, the curriculum was being taught to 400,000 students nationwide. Conlan claimed the program had an ideological bias and promoted cultural relativism. This ignited a controversy centered in Phoenix, Arizona that led the National Science Foundation to cut funding for the curriculum in 1975, after which it ceased to be used.[3]


  1. ^ Arizona State Library-Arizona Legislators Past and Present
  2. ^ "POLITICS: Arizona Shootout". TIME. 1976-09-20. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  3. ^ “Through These Eyes,” Dir. Charles Laird. National Film Board of Canada, 2004. Web. Accessed July 1, 2018.

This article incorporates material from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External linksEdit

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977
Succeeded by
Eldon D. Rudd