Former Oklahoma Governor
Governor George Nigh served four different terms as the governor of Oklahoma–more than anyone else in our state’s history. In 1950 at age 23, Nigh became the youngest member of the state legislature when elected to the House of Representatives from Pittsburg County. He introduced the bill that made Oklahoma the official state song in 1953.
When he was 31, Nigh was elected lieutenant governor, the youngest in state history and the youngest in the nation at the time. He lost the bid for the governor’s office in 1962, but became governor for nine days in January 1963 after the death of U.S. Sen. Robert Kerr. The sitting governor J. Howard Edmondson, resigned in order to be appointed by Nigh to fill Kerr’s Senate seat.
In 1966, Nigh was elected lieutenant governor of Oklahoma again. He served until he was elected governor in 1978–and was re-elected in 1982. He presided over state government during two of the most controversial moral dilemmas of the twentieth century, horse racing and liquor by the drink. He later served as president of the University of Central Oklahoma. George and his wife Donna, head the Donna Nigh Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving Oklahomans with developmental disabilities.
Interview with George Nigh
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: May 1, 2009
Date Published: April 17, 2012
Photo Credits: Slideshow images from “Good Guys Wear White Hats, The Life of George Nigh” by Bob Burke
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.