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Richard Merrill Atkinson (February 6, 1894 – April 29, 1947) was an American politician and a U.S. Representative from Tennessee.

Richard Merrill Atkinson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1939
Preceded byJo Byrns
Succeeded byJo Byrns Jr.
Personal details
BornFebruary 6, 1894 (1894-02-06)
Nashville, Tennessee
DiedApril 29, 1947 (1947-04-30) (aged 53)
Nashville, Tennessee
Citizenship United States
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materWallace University
Vanderbilt University
Cumberland School of Law
ProfessionAttorney, politician
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Marine Corps
UnitForty-seventh Company, Second Division France
Battles/warsWorld War I


Atkinson was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and attended the public schools. He graduated from Wallace University School, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1912, from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1916, and from Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1917. Admitted to the bar in 1917, he commenced the practice of law in Nashville, in 1920.

During the First World War, Atkinson served from June 30, 1917, until honorably discharged on August 29, 1919. He was a member of the Forty-seventh Company, United States Marine Corps, Second Division, serving in France with the American Expeditionary Forces. He served as Attorney general of the tenth judicial circuit of Tennessee from September 1, 1926 to September 1, 1934. He was also State commissioner of Smoky Mountain National Park from 1931 to 1933.[1]

Atkinson was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fifth Congress, and served from January 3, 1937 to January 3, 1939.[2] He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1938, and returned to the practice of law in Nashville, Tennessee, until his death.


Atkinson died in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, on April 29, 1947. He is interred at Spring Hill Cemetery, Madison, Tennessee.[3]


  1. ^ "Richard M. Atkinson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Richard M. Atkinson". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Richard M. Atkinson". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 8 May 2013.

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