Vail M. Pittman
Vail M. Pittman
|19th Governor of Nevada|
July 24, 1945 – January 1, 1951
|Lieutenant||Clifford A. Jones|
|Preceded by||Edward P. Carville|
|Succeeded by||Charles H. Russell|
|19th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada|
January 3, 1943 – July 24, 1945
|Governor||Edward P. Carville|
|Preceded by||Maurice J. Sullivan|
|Succeeded by||Clifford A. Jones|
|Member of the Nevada Senate|
|Born||September 17, 1880|
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||January 29, 1964 (aged 83)|
San Francisco, U.S.
|Resting place||Masonic Memorial Gardens|
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Pittman was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the youngest of four sons born to William Buckner Pittman and Katherine Key Pittman, a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key. His siblings included Key Pittman, a longtime United States Senator from Nevada. William and Katherine Pittman died when Vail Pittman was an infant, and the Pittmans were raised in Lake Providence, Louisiana by their uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Vail Montgomery. Vail Pittman was educated by private tutors and in the public schools until he attended Sewanee Military Academy. He then attended the University of the South and Brown's Business College, but returned to Lake Providence in 1903 to manage the family cotton plantation after Vail Montgomery's death.
Pittman moved to Tonopah, Nevada in 1904, and worked initially at the Tonopah-Goldfield Lumber and Coal Company until purchasing the company's coal business and operating it as a separate company. He sold the coal business in 1907, and subsequently engaged in a variety of occupations, including undersheriff of Nye County, sergeant-at-arms of the Nevada Senate, and partner in a mining company. On May 20, 1919 he married Ida Louise Brewington. In 1920 Vail and Ida Pittman bought the Ely Daily Times of Ely, Nevada and he began a successful career in the newspaper business. Pittman was also involved in several civic and business organizations, including the good roads movement and the local chamber of commerce. From 1925 to 1929 Pittman served in the Nevada Senate. After his brother Key's 1940 death, Vail Pittman unsuccessfully sought the governor's appointment to his U.S. Senate seat.
Pittman was elected the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 1942. He was a candidate in the Democratic primary for United States Senate in 1944, but was defeated by the incumbent, Pat McCarran. He became governor when Edward P. Carville resigned in 1945 to accept appointment to a vacant U.S. Senate seat. Pittman was elected to a full term in 1946, and served until 1951. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1950 and in 1954, losing both times to Charles H. Russell. After leaving office Pittman resumed operation of the Ely Daily Times. He later sold the newspaper, and became an officer of the Nevada Savings and Loan Association and the Nevada State Bank. He was involved in the Rotary Club and was a delegate to international conferences in Switzerland and Japan. He served as a delegate to the 1956 and 1960 Democratic National Conventions.
- Vail's birth year is given in various sources as 1880, 1881, and 1883. However, his mother, Catherine (Key) Pittman, died on January 4, 1881, so only the earliest date is tenable.
- Glad, Betty (1986). Key Pittman: the tragedy of a Senate insider. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 4.
- "Vail M. Pittman". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "VailM.Pittman". Nevada's First Ladies. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Vail M. Pittman". National Governors Association. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Vail M. Pittman". Nevada State Library and Archives. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Vail M. Pittman at Find a Grave
- Nevada First Ladies
- Nevada State Library and Archives
- National Governors Association
- A Guide to the Vail Montgomery Pittman Papers, NC392. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.
Edward P. Carville
| Governor of Nevada
1945 – 1951
Charles H. Russell
Maurice J. Sullivan
| Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
1943 – 1945
Clifford A. Jones