They say he did it all through wit, humor and integrity.
Just when you thought fists might fly between red-faced Democrats and Republicans in some late-night caucus, U.S. Senator John McCain recalls, Udall would disarm them. "Ah," he'd muse, "it reminds me of the politicians' prayer. May the words that I utter today be tender and sweet, because tomorrow I may have to eat them."
He once was voted the congressman that Capitol Hill staffers would most like to be stranded with on a desert island. If they had been, they'd have gotten an earful of his "Apache County sayings," such as, "No. 64: He who throws mud loses ground."
Once they'd heard his famous punchlines a few dozen times, they might have been like Udall's fellow University of Arizona athletic letterman, who, at an alumni breakfast, made the mistake of shouting, "Hey, Udall, we heard that one before."
As McNulty tells it, "Udall looks at him, says, 'Dammit, Marsh, if I was playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, would you tell me don't play that because you've heard it before?'"
POWERS OF PERSUASION
"He could charm the bird out of a tree," McNulty says. "I knew a Republican, a goodhearted fellow, and somebody said, "Well, why don't you just let Mo in to talk to your group?' And the guy says, 'My God, if I did, he'd convert everyone."'
To recruit campaign workers, Udall told of a preacher whose sign outside the church said, "If you're tired of sin, come in." Underneath, Mo said in delight, somebody had scrawled, "If you're not, call 822-2423."
He said he was from an Arizona town so small "I was in the fifth grade before I learned the town's name wasn't 'Resume Speed.'"
After Udall fell short in a serious run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, he quipped, "The voters have spoken, the bastards."
He would later write, in a book with the same title, that he was "To Funny to be President."
COULD HAVE MADE NATION BETTER
"I always wonder what it would have been like if he had been elected President of the United States," says Ray Clarke of the Tucson Urban League. "He's one of those rare individuals who would have made American much better."
McCain, although he's a conservative who doesn't share Udall's liberal aims, come pretty close to an endorsement. "The less attractive candidate won in '76," he says.
"Jimmy Carter, some of his failures were due to a lack of ability to communicate with the Congress and with his own party. And clearly Mo Udall had that capacity in spades."
Udall "came within a whisper" of being President, McNulty believes, and McCain says he would have gotten the nomination if he had just won the Wisconsin primary.
He could have won Michigan, McNulty adds, but "he was denounced by the mayor of Detroit because he was a member of the Mormons, and the Mormons were, in the eyes of the mayor, anti-black. Of course, Mo had a record on civil rights second to none."
NO STRANGER TO DISCRIMINATION
Growing up in St. Johns, Ariz. (population 83) in Apache County near the New Mexico line, he'd known discrimination. "His grandfather went to prison. It was
be for perjury, but it was in fact because he was a Mormon," says McNulty,
Udall's friend of 45 years.
Udall lost an eye in a childhood accident but went on to play a season of professional basketball and to pilot small planes, frequently scaring his passengers. Although Udall grew up knowing about risks, he never ran from any, McNulty says.
While his brother Stewart, then Secretary of the Interior, was in Lyndon Johnson's administration, Udall took the huge risk of breaking ranks with LBJ over the Vietnam War.
Robinson remembers the moment, a ringing speech at the old Sunday Evening Forum on the UA campus, then a very influential podium in Tucson. "He came out and said, 'This is wrong.' And it was early. He was ahead of his time."
"His attitude toward Vietnam was always supportive of those who fought it, and very much opposed to the point of all," McNulty says. "There was a time when that was a pretty lonely quest. In time, you prove right. But leaders have to be careful about how far they get out there."
WIT USE TO FIGHT LONELINESS
There is, McNulty suggests, a loneliness in leadership. Certainly, Udall has known his share in what Arizona Secretary of State Richard Mahoney, a former Udall staffer, always believed was a kind of melancholy the public didn't detect.
"Just the sheer loneliness of public life, and the loneliness of Morris Udall in many points in his life," Mahoney offers. "The way he truly dealt with it was just to make himself and his whole profession a matter of unending fun."
Immersed in public service, often fighting poor health, Udall had ups and downs in his relationships with his six children, insiders have said, And he was said to be devastated by the suicide three years ago of his second wife, Ella.
Beneath all that personality and self-deprecating humor was a serious man, who leaves a serious legacy.
"Alaska," says environmentalist Robinson in awe, "Alaska. That is the great monument to him that will be remembered 100 years from new."
CREDIT GIVEN TO CARTER
In 1972, Udall introduced a bill to preserve more than 100 million acres of pristine wilderness in Alaska--an area equal in size to California.
It took eight years, but in 1880 President Carter signed it into law, "With one stroke of his pen," Udall said, "Carter doubled the size of the national park system, doubled the size of the national wildlife refuge system, and tripled the size of the national wilderness system."
It was perhaps Udall's most treasured moment. Yet he gave the credit to Carter, a graciousness that McCain and Kolbe point out has always been one of his political gifts.
Others say his legacy is the CAP, which will divert Colorado River water to Arizona's largest cities. Many state leaders praise it as our "economic lifeline to the future."
Because it will allow continued urban growth in the desert, some environmentalists decry it as the chink in Udull's environmental record, But Robinson sees it the way she believes Mo did: That without economic strength, environmental preservation suffers from low priority, as Eastern Europe today is witness to.
REFORM STANCE WAS COSTLY
Tucson Mayor Thomas Volgy says Udall sacrificed his chances to be speaker of the House when he successfully led the chamber's young turks, some 20 years ago, in reform of the old committee structure and seniority system.
|"I think the
House has become much more 'small-d' democratic as a result," says Volgy,
a UA political scientist.
Not all his efforts were a success, of course, although not even his political opposites are dwelling on those today. The federal campaign reform he led in the '70s, which resulted in the stifling power of political action committees, probably didn't turn out the way he'd hoped, colleagues say. And he deeply disappointed many local Hispanic leaders when he supported a clampdown on immigration in 1984.
"He was a hero," says state Representative Carmen Cajero.
"Someone to emulate," says Lorraine Lee, Tucson vice president of Chicanos por la Causu. "For us, in working with non-profits and the challenge everyday that we come across -- trying to deal with people's problems and how frustrating that can be--to look at how one person can make a difference gives us inspiration.
"He really loved this state, and he fought for it."
MORRIS K. UDALL
January 15, 1922: Udall is born in St. Johns, Arizona, to a Mormon family with six children.
1940: Graduates from St. Johns High School and enters University of Arizona.
1942-45: Serves in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific.
1946: Returns to UA and earns his law degree.
1948-49: Plays professional basketball for the Denver Nuggets, is admitted to the Arizona Bar and goes into practice with his brother Stewart. Marries his first wife, Patricia Emery. (The couple had six children and later divorced.)
1950: Is elected to a 3-year term as chief deputy attorney for Pima County. Arizona Supreme Court Justice Stanley Feldman later calls him "one of the state's great trial attorneys."
1953: Elected Pima County attorney.
1954: Fails in his bid for a Superior Court judge position.
1956: Serves as chairman of Arizona Volunteers for Adlai Stevenson and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
1961: In a special election to replace his brother Stewart, who left the position he had held for 6 years to become President John F. Kennedy's secretary of the Interior, Udall is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1967: Breaks ranks with President Lyndon Johnson and blasts U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
1968: Marries Ella Royston Ward, known affectionately as "Tiger." Also challenges the entrenched power of House elders by trying to unseat 77-year-old John W. McCormack of Massachusetts. The effort failed.
1972: Introduces bill to put more than 100 million acres of federal land in Alaska into new parks, wildlife refuges and national forests.
1976: Fails in bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, won by Jimmy Carter. He discovers why he was inordinately tired during the presidential campaign: Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder impairing movement and speech.
1980: Wilderness bill passed: Udall makes his Parkinson's disease public.
1988: Ella Udall commits suicide.
1989: Udall marries Norma Gilbert, a congressional staffer.
January 1991: Udall fractures several bones in a fall at his Virginia home and is hospitalized.
March 29: Norma Udall writes to House Speaker Thomas Foley, saying her husband may have to resign.
April 18: Udall expected to resign.
(By Michael Murphy)
WASHINGTON, DC. -- Ten years ago, State Republican Party leaders thought they finally had found a way to get rid of Morris Udall--by forcing the Democrat into retirement through congressional redistricting.
But that was before then-GOP Chairman Tom Pappas encountered Udall's friends, including Arizona Republicans John Rhodes and Barry Goldwater.
"I said no," recalled Rhodes, who was then U.S. House minority leader. "I said we can put the Democrats into one district, and we want Mo Udall's name on it."
A decade later, not even Udall's Republican friends can protect the 30-year Congressman from a tougher opponent--Parkinson's disease, a debilitating nerve disorder that is forcing Udall to cut short what was to be his last term in office.
The picture of Udall today--confined to a wheelchair, his gaunt frame racked by illness -is in sharp contrast to the portrait of a man who spent two grueling years seeking the Presidency and then, after narrowly losing to Jimmy Carter, gaining a reputation as one of the Nation's most effective and respected lawmakers.
Udall's retirement on May 4, also represents the end of an era of Arizona's prominence in Congress. He is the last of a group that included Rhodes, Goldwater and Senator Carl Hayden.
"He really way--and is--the last of that generation," former democratic Governor Bruce Babbitt said. "His clout meant a hell of a lot to Arizona."
The young man who grew up in a small town of St. Johns managed to demolish the House seniority system, act as floor whip for all the civil rights legislation of 1964 and became one of the first Democrats to speak out against Vietnam--at the same time his brother was in President Johnson's Cabinet.
He also is credited for sparking an investigation that exposed one of the bloodiest secrets of the war, the massacre of civilians at My Lai.
But Udall was not considered a radical liberal. Admirers said his strength was to bring diametrically opposing viewpoints together to force compromises such as the Alaska lands legislation that doubled the size of the National Park System and tripled the size of the National Wilderness System.
"He would walk into a room where there would be real sparks and tension, and sometimes within an hour Mo would come out and have people smiling at each other," said House Interior Committee spokesman Ken Burton, who has worked with Udall since 1977.
"He really had a gift for that."
National Audubon magazine called Udall "one of the great lawmakers of our time." He wrote the nation's 1977 strip-mining reclamation act, drafted the Alaska lands act, settled historic Indian water-rights claims and won legislation that set aside millions of Arizona acres as wilderness.
"Probably no one in recent memory has made as many or more significant contributions to environmental matters than Mo Udall," said Charles Babbitt, president of the Maricopa Audubon society. "He will be very hard to replace."
For Arizona, Udall's liberalism was tinged with a Western realism taken from a childhood in a place dubbed "the land that time forgot." His Mormon ancestors took the harsh and unproductive land in eastern Arizona and turned it into a community that still thrives today.
Like his forefathers who irrigated the barren desert, Udall championed the massive Central Arizona Project that brought Colorado River water to the State.
|"He was able
to pretty well keep his credentials as an environmentalist but still do
the things that were necessary to get the Arizona water situation worked
out," said Rhodes, another key player in getting the CAP.
"I considered him a good friend. We didn't agree on lots of things philosophically, but we didn't let that bother us as far as working for the State of Arizona.
Rhodes riled the State's GOP leaders by killing the plan to oust Udall in 1980, but he said the political slight was worth it.
"It would not have been good for the State to have done anything other than try to keep Mo," he said.
Udall once said his favorite movie was "The Way We Were," and that is how his family and admirers like to think of the 68-year-old Congressman these days.
"It's a very sad thing when you think of what my husband has been in his lifetime dynamic human being," Udall's wife, Norma, said. "It just breaks your heart.
"There's no man more loved on the Hill than Morris Udall. I'm very proud of him," she said.
The loss of Udall, the State's only committee chairman in Congress, has saddened colleagues who say they will miss his self-deprecating wit and charm. They also rue Arizona's loss of clout from a man the Almanac of American Politics called "one of the leading and most productive Democratic politicians of his generation."
"You lose Mo Udall, you lose a giant of a man," Said Senator John McCain, R-AZ. "The Nation loses, not just Arizona."
Senator Dennis DeConcini, D-AZ, called Udall's resignation "a real loss to Arizona. He has been a major factor in so much legislation nationally but also for Arizona that has helped us economically, militarily and many, many ways.
"Mo will be missed a great deal. His influence, long-term, will really be missed."
The story of Udall's rise in Arizona is one of great achievement but also one of bitter and frequent disappointment--capped by his inability to finish his final term.
Politically, Udall's biggest disappointment was losing a string of Democratic Presidential primaries to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
"For a year and a half I had trudged through the cornfields of Iowa, the snowdrifts of New Hampshire, the suburbs of Massachusetts, the sidewalks of New York, the bowling alleys of Wisconsin. For 18 hours a day, day after day, I had given it my all," Udall wrote in his book "Too Funny To Be President."
"And yet no matter how hard I worked, it seemed as though I was doomed to come in second to that g'damned peanut plowman from Plains."
After losing to Carter, he fell off a ladder, breaking both arms. He contracted viral pneumonia after his appendix burst. And then he contracted Parkinson's disease.
In 1988, he found the body of his second wife, Ella, in her car, its motor still running, in the garage of their Virginia home. The death was ruled a suicide.
As the Parkinson's worsened, and the effects of Udall's medication became apparent, family members, including his brother, former Interior secretary Stewart Udall, urged him to retire.
But Bruce Babbitt said, "The House of Representatives was 90 percent of his life. He was absolutely consumed by being a committee chairman and a Congressman. He loved every minute of it. I don't think anybody expected he would just walk away from it."
Babbit likened Udall's final years to that of Hayden, the powerful Arizona senator who was seriously ill at the close of his career.
"It's just like Carl Hayden -- Carl Hayden in his last two terms never even showed up in Arizona," he said. "Arizonans understood that Hayden even in Bethesda Naval Hospital, did more for Arizona than anyone else. And that's essentially Mo's position."
in 1989 to Noma, his third wife, and then easily sailed through his last
reelection bid. He appeared to be headed toward a quiet political exit
as one of Arizona's elder statesmen.
But tragedy struck again. He fell while climbing the stairs at his home January 6, breaking a shoulder blade, his collarbone and four ribs. While in the hospital, his Parkinson's worsened, causing a swirl of rumors that would resign.
REPLACED HIS BROTHER
Udal won his seat in 1961 in a special election called for after his brother Stewart left Congress to become John F. Kennedy's Secretary of the Interior.
Novelist Larry King painted a picture of Udall upon his arrival: "He was then a month short of 39 and looked something like a rodeo hand in short burr haircuts, bow ties and a wide leather belt studded with ersatz stones, and a silver buckle; there was something about him, a disconcerting combination of painful country-boy shyness and a bawdy cow lot humor."
In 1969, Udall challenged John McCormack for House Speaker, a race that Udall did not expect to win, but he hope it would position him to be majority leader 2 years later. But he lost that race badly to Hale Boggs of Louisiana, who had just recovered from a nervous collapse.
Those losses drove Udall deep into the legislative process, ultimately using the Interior Committee chairmanship, which he won in 1977, to make himself the House's leading author of environmental legislation.
Udall counts among his friends former GOP Senator Goldwater.
Goldwater surprised Republicans when he gave $500 to Udall's last campaign.
And when The Arizona Republic called for Udall to resign in 1989, Goldwater wrote that Udall should tell his detractors to "go to hell."
"I often joke that between the two of us, we've made Arizona the only State in the Union where mothers don't tell their children they can grow up to be President," Udall wrote in his book.
Goldwater was soundly beaten in an 1964 bid.
Amid the political and private setbacks, admirers said, Udall retained his keen wit.
"Since he got his illness, I never heard him complain about it," Burton said. "He has one of the most optimistic natures that I've ever seen in my life.
"I would have been on the floor feeling sorry for myself a long time ago. But he still loved to crack jokes, and he loved to hear new ones.
"He really loved being in the House, and he loved being in Congress, and he really loved the job ... he was a lawyer who loved the making of laws, and that had been almost half of his entire life. He obviously was very reluctant to leave it."
Jim McNulty, a former Arizona Congressman and one of Udall's closest friends, said Udall has "paid terrible prices from time to time ... but through it he has remained a gentle man, a man of peace.
"I think he feels that a sense of humor is right at the core of all life, and he wouldn't have it any other way," McNulty said. "He's a very intelligent man, and he wasn't afraid to go out on a limb to challenge the tree on believing what he felt was right. And he was right far more often than he was wrong."
Udall's self-medication with humor even touched the cause of his downfall.
"When I was first diagnosed as having Parkinson's, another Congressman was having trouble with his own form of Parkinson's," he used to joke. "You remember Paula Parkinson?"
|She was the
blond lobbyist who kissed and told about her affairs with several Congressmen.
"I said at the time there three
were many similarities between the two. They both cause you to lose sleep--and
they both give you the shakes."
ARIZONA LOSING A LEGEND
(By Martin van Der Werf)
WASHINGTON.--With the retirement of Representative Morris K. Udall, Arizona will be without something it has gotten used to having.
Arizona will be without a legend in Congress.
Although the remaining members of Arizona's delegation have growing seniority and power in Washington, there is no one whose very name brings about an instant reaction, no one like Carl Hayden, Barry Goldwater or John Rhodes.
Add to that list "Mo" Udall.
His retirement, effective May 4, will mark the end of larger-than-life figures in Arizona politics, at least for this generation.
"It was an era from the beginning of the '50s," said Udall's brother, Stewart, an Arizona congressman from 1955 to 1961 who became interior secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
"Arizona had a group of people in office who not only had power in Washington, two of them ran for president (Goldwater in 1964, Mo Udall in 1976).
"I was the first Arizonan to serve in a president's Cabinet. It's an era; it's an epic that's gone now."
Even though Mo Udall's presence and influence have been curtailed in recent years by serious illnesses and injuries, his name still is revered in Washington, a testament to the grace and wit he has used as powerful political tools.
And, with Udall's run for president in 1976 and his 14-year chairmanship of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee since then, the Democrat has had an outlet at the top of the political power structure.
Yet, a string of astonishing political defeats and physical obstacles also have marked his life, and, after 30 years, he will leave Congress with his agenda unfinished.
Udall kept running so he could pass environmental bills that were perhaps unachievable.
"You always have an unfinished agenda," Stewart Udall said, but added that his brother might have been able to accomplish more if he hadn't suffered from Parkinson's disease.
"It choked him. It reduced his vitality."
Still, Mo Udall, 68, has been cherished, even in his weakened condition.
"Mo has been the heart and soul of the environmental movement," said Syd Barber, vice president of the Wilderness Society.
"If ever that cliche could be applied to anyone, it would be him. He's intelligent, crafty, but he also has that undeniable level of commitment that is very, very rare."
Representative George Miller, the man who will replace Udall as Interior Committee chairman, agreed.
"Every American who camps in a national park, hikes a trail or enjoys the magnificient scenery and resources of this nation owes a debt of gratitude to Mo Udall," said Miller, (D-CA).
It is difficult to overestimate what Udall has meant to Arizona. Not only has he been chairman since 1977 of the House committee that oversees the state's water projects, national parks, Indian reservations and millions of acres of federal land, he also has developed a national reputation that gives Arizona a prominence it otherwise would not have.
"Mo has more seniority than anybody (from Arizona)," said Rhodes, a Republican and former House minority leader, who retired in 1982.
"If people think seniority doesn't mean anything, they just don't know Washington."
Stewart Udall said his brother looked beyond Arizona in his work.
"Of course, he attended to Arizona's needs, and he was proud of what he did for Arizona," Stewart Udall said.
But, he added, "in environment, his championship of Indians, the way he broke new ground politically, he was a national congressman."
Mo Udall said in 1984 that he could get things done for Arizona because he had been a presidential candidate.
"I think there's a correlation there that maybe I can do more in 10 minutes because I'm known and spend time helping national political figures than if I were totally unknown and spent an hour on the same problem," he said.
LATE CALLS SAVED LEGISLATION
Aides tell stories about how Udall was able to save legislation in the waning hours of legislative sessions through a single phone call and sheer force of personality. Both an agreement to ship low-level nuclear waste from Arizona to California and the sweeping Arizona Wilderness Act, which protected 2.3 million acres in Arizona from development, were revived by his intervention.
He succeeded at bringing together Indian tribes, cities and other interested in water rights to iron out differences, preventing years of litigation. He is the last remaining officeholder who pushed through Congress the once-preposterous idea of the Central Arizona Project, to divert water from the Colorado River for use in Phoenix and Tucson. He wrote the nation's law requiring reclamation of strip mines.
But, with all of his popularity and accomplishments, Udall's personal and professional lives have been marked by wrenching losses and sadness.
He failed twice in bids for spots in House leadership. He ran a gutsy campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976 but finished second to Jimmy Carter. He never played the role he wanted to in foreign policy or accomplished much in later years on his wide array of campaign-finance-reform ideas.
His first wife divorced him, his second committed suicide. He lost his right eye in a childhood accident and almost die twice--of spinal meningitis as a child and of pneumonia as an adult.
In 1979, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a debilitating affliction that made in maddeningly and progressively more difficult for him to control his body's movements, probably leading to his fall down a flight of stirs in January that has left him hospitalized ever since.
But Udall had a coping mechanism that made him famous: a sense of humor that has endeared him to Democratic crowds but may have doomed his presidential aspirations.
|It was no
mistake that Udall named his 1987 smorgasbord of political wit and memories
"Too Funny to be President." Voters, openly wondered whether someone who
loved a joke as much as Udall was serious enough to lead the nation.
POKING FUN AT HIMSELF
Throughout his career, Udall has laughed at life's ironies and others' foibles, but mostly he has laughed at himself.
After an unsuccessful run for House majority leader in 1970, he turned his buttons reading "MO" upside down to read 'low."
His favorite story is rooted in Manchester, NH, in the early days of his campaign for the presidency.
Udall ducked into a barbershop and announced, "Hi, I'm Mo Udall, and I'm running for president."
"Yeah," the barber said, "we were just laughing about that this morning."
Udall never took himself too seriously and even chastised his fellow lawmakers for not loosening up and telling a few jokes once in a while.
"Politicians who use humor effectively are a declining breed," he wrote in "Too Funny to be President," his most recent of four books.
"I'm mystified by this, especially so because experience suggests that humor is possible the most potent tool a politician can wield."
KEEPS JOKES ON FILE
It might be said that Udall takes humor seriously. He has indexed jokes in stacks of black binders in his office, pulling out exactly the right punch line at exactly the right moment.
It has been Udall's way of doing business, putting people at ease and slipping in his agenda.
In the 30 years Udall has served in Congress, there never has been a hint of scandal. In 1989, U.S. News & World Report named him one of a dozen members of Congress whose intergrity is "beyond question."
His personal qualities and almost total lack of enemies are what have gotten Udall by, because, by most yardsticks, this liberal Democrat has been out of step with his state politically.
In 1967, he was one of the first congressman to call for U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, reversing his earlier position in favor of the war.
In his 1976 run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Udall presented himself as the liberal alternative to Carter and surprised many observers with his second-place finish.
Although he has been virtually deified in environmental circles, he has incurred their wrath by working for Arizona water projects, particularly the Central Arizona Project.
"On the whole, he has been excellent on all public-lands issues and has worked diligently protecting the nation's natural resources," said Mike Matz, Washington director of the Sierra Club public-lands program.
"If there was any disappointment at all, it was his stand on water projects, sort of a provincial interest that Arizona needed."
ELECTED IN 1961
Udall, the son of a pioneer Mormon family, was elected to Congress in 1961, to fill the spot vacated when his brother was tapped by President Kennedy to be interior secretary. Mo Udall won the 2d Congressional District seat by less than 3,000 votes and has been there ever since. His only serious challenge came in 1978 from a Republican upstart, Tom Richey, and a public that had been rattled by the airing of
views during his * * * breakthrough victory in any of the presidential
primaries would have made him a possible victor over Carter.
His staff concentrated on winning in Wisconsin, and early in the evening, several networks showed him succeeding. But, overnight, as the returns trickled in from rural areas, Udall's slim lead disappeared.
He finished second to Carter in seven primaries.
"The voters have spoken, the bastards," he joked.
Udall considered running for president again in 1984 but decided against it because of his Parkinson's disease.
In interviews, which grew increasingly rare in his later years in office, Udall clearly was frustrated that he was forced to defend his health, and he announced his candidacies early to dispel rumors that he was about to quit.
"It is not a fun illness," Udall wrote of his affliction in 1989, 2 days after The Arizona Republic had called on his to retire.
"It makes me stiff and causes me to lose facial expression. I sometimes think it is a more painful disease for others to witness than it is for me to bear. It is a disease that I will not die from but I will die with."
SUPPORT FROM GOLDWATER
Despite the ravages of Parkinson's and arthritis that left him in recent years stooped, palsied and sometimes able to talk only in an inaudible whisper, Udall fought on, with the encouragement of Goldwater and others.
"This letter just contains a great
big prayer for your speedy recovery and a big ,nuts' to those who say to
come home," Goldwater wrote to Udall after The Republic's call for his
In 1990, Goldwater contributed $55
to Udall's campaign and told him, "I've always supported you, and I think
it's time this old Republican quit hiding behind the bush. Good luck to
In 1990, Udall said that he would run for one last term, and that in his final 2 years, he hoped to complete two projects: establishment of a trust fund using offshore oil-drilling and gas fees to purchase wilderness areas, and getting "wild and scenic" designations for various Arizona rivers and riparian areas so they would be safe from development.
However, he has not spent a day in his office since this term began. The chances for the trust-fund bill look iffy at best; the legislation concerning wild and scenic rivers hasn't even been written.
Udall once said that he hopes to be remembered as "somebody who cared about the land deeply, who left a legacy of national parks and wilderness areas and resource policies that give future generations some idea of what kind of love of the land and environment that I've always felt."
Though he often said he wanted to
step aside early enough to enjoy a rich life after Congress, he always
had one more job he wanted to do.
Here are some of the major accomplishments of Representative Morris K. Udall during his 30 years in Congress:
Sponsored law setting aside more than 100 million acres in Alaska for national parks and wilderness, doubling the size of the national-park system.
Main | Contents | Illustrations | Book Cover | Title Page
Addresses and Special Orders Held in the U.S. House of Representatives
and the Senate, Presented in Honor of The Honorable Morris K. "Mo" Udall,
A Representative from Arizona, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993