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Alvin E. O'Konski Edit Profile

United States representative , politician , university professor

Alvin E. O'Konski, American former congressman. Decorated Polonia Restitucia medal Polish government in Exile, 1953. President American Anti-Communist Organization, Inc., 1947; member Katyn Forest Massacre Committee; past director World League to Stop Communism. Member Pi Kappa Delta.

Background

O'Konski, Alvin E. was born on May 26, 1904 in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, United States. Son of Frank and Antonia (Paska) O'K.

Education

Born on a farm near Kewaunee, Wisconsin, O'Konski attended the local public schools and the University of Iowa. He graduated from State Teachers College (now University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1927 and from the University of Wisconsin (now University of Wisconsin–Madison) in 1932.

Career

He was superintendent of schools in Pulaski, Wisconsin from 1932 to 1935 and an instructor at a junior college in Coleraine, Minnesota in 1936. He was an educator, journalist, lecturer, editor and publisher at Hurley, Wisconsin from 1940 to 1942. In 1942, O'Konski was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-eighth Congress.

He was then reelected to the fourteen succeeding Congresses serving from January 3, 1943 till January 3, 1973. While in congress, he represented Wisconsin's 10th congressional district. He lost a bid for the Republican senatorial nomination to succeed Joseph McCarthy in 1957.

O'Konski represented a district that included much of the northwestern part of the state, including Rhinelander and Superior. However, after the 1970 census, Wisconsin lost a district, and most of O'Konski's territory was merged with Wisconsin's 7th congressional district represented by three-term Democratic Party member Dave Obey. O'Konski retained only about 40 percent of his former territory, a disadvantage he was unable to overcome despite his seniority.

Even though Richard Nixon carried most of the district in the 1972 election, O'Konski was defeated. A proposed navy project called Sanguine which O'Konski supported may have been a factor in his loss. While still serving in Congress, O'Konski founded WAEO-TV, the NBC affiliate for most of north-central Wisconsin.

He sold the station in 1976. It is now WJFW-TV. O'Konski lived in Kewaunee, Wisconsin until his death in 1987. He is buried at St. Hedwig's Cemetery, a rural church cemetery west of Kewaunee.

Membership

He was a high school teacher in Omro and Oconto from 1926 to 1929, a member of the faculty of Oregon State College at Corvallis from 1929 to 1931, and a faculty member at the University of Detroit from 1936 to 1938.

Connections

Married Veronica Hemming. August 25, 1935.

father:
Frank O'K.

mother:
Antonia (Paska) O'K.

spouse:
Veronica Hemming