Open main menu

William Cunningham Phelps (April 5, 1934 – March 19, 2019) was a Republican politician and lawyer from Missouri. Phelps was born and raised in Nevada, Missouri.[1]

Bill Phelps
Bill Phelps.jpg
Phelps in 1975
40th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
In office
January 8, 1973 – January 12, 1981
GovernorKit Bond
Joseph P. Teasdale
Preceded byWilliam S. Morris
Succeeded byKen Rothman
Personal details
William Cunningham Phelps

(1934-04-05)April 5, 1934
Nevada, Missouri
DiedMarch 19, 2019(2019-03-19) (aged 84)
Houston, Texas
Political partyRepublican


Phelps attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a degree in economics in 1956 and a law degree in 1959. Following graduation he began practicing law with a Kansas City firm.

Phelps was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives from the Kansas City area in 1960 and was re-elected five times. In 1972, he was elected the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri and was re-elected in 1976. Phelps campaigned on a pledge to be Missouri's first "full time" Lieutenant Governor and upon his election to that office, he gave up the practice of law. In 1980 Phelps was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of Missouri. He lost the Republican primary election to former Governor Kit Bond.

After a sixteen-year absence from public life, in 1996 Phelps ran for Congress in Missouri's 4th congressional district. Phelps won the primary, but was defeated in November by the incumbent, Ike Skelton. Phelps worked as the national spokesman for Americans for Fair Tax, a group that advocates replacing the income tax with a national sales tax.[2]

Phelps died in Houston, Texas following a short illness. He was 84.[3][3]


  1. ^ "Official Manual of the State of Missouri 1973 - 1974 :: Official Manual of the State of Missouri -The Blue Book". Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  2. ^ "WSJS - The Mike Fenley Show - Mon-Fri 3-6PM". 2005-03-16. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  3. ^ a b William "Bill" C. Phelps-obituay

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
William S. Morris
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
Ken Rothman