Bachelor, University Cambridge, 1948. Master of Arts, University Cambridge, 1950. Doctor of Philosophy, University Cambridge, 1956.
Doctor of Letters (honorary), University Cambridge, 1979. Doctor honorary, University Lyon, 1983.
Born in Malad, Idaho, Evans was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II. Evans returned to Malad after college to help run the family wheat and cattle ranch. He was elected to the state senate at age 27 in 1952 and re-elected in 1954 and 1956, serving as majority leader in his final term. In 1960, Evans became mayor of Malad City and served in that capacity until 1966.
He returned to the state senate in 1968 and served as minority leader from 1969–74. Evans was elected the 33rd lieutenant governor of Idaho in 1974. He became governor in January 1977 when Cecil Andrus accepted an appointment to become the Secretary of the Interior in the new Carter administration.
Evans finished Andrus' term and was elected governor in his own right in 1978, defeating Republican house speaker Allan Larsen of Blackfoot. He was re-elected in 1982, defeating Republican lieutenant governor Phil Batt of Wilder. While in office as governor in 1981, Evans' 29-year-old son John was the target of a foiled kidnapping attempt in Burley.
After nearly a decade as a governor, Evans ran for the U.S. Senate in 1986, but was defeated by Republican incumbent Steve Symms of Caldwell. He was succeeded as governor by Andrus, who served two more terms, giving the Democrats six consecutive elections for governor in the state, from 1970 through 1990. Source:
Evans died at age 89 in 2014 at his Boise home on July 8.
Less than year later, his widow Lola died at home in Boise on May 19, 2015, at the age of 88. They are interred at the Malad City Cemetery in Malad City.
Delaware Democratic National Convention, 1960, 80, 84, 88. Chairman Subcon. State Land Board Lease Rates & Policies, 1975-1976. Chairman Law Enforcement Planning Committee, 1975-1976.
Member National Governors Association (chairman subcommittee on nuclear energy 1979), Western Governors Association (chairman 1978-1979), Farm Bureau, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Masons, Kiwanis, Eagles, Rotary.
Married Lola Daniels, 1945. Children: David L., John Victor, Martha Anne, Susan Dee, Thomas Daniels.