27 Facts About Alan Cranston


Alan MacGregor Cranston was an American politician and journalist who served as a United States Senator from California from 1969 to 1993, and as a President of the World Federalist Association from 1949 to 1952.


Alan Cranston served as the Senate Democratic Whip from 1977 to 1991.


In 1984, Alan Cranston sought the Democratic presidential nomination, advocating a nuclear freeze during the later stages of the Cold War.


Alan Cranston dropped out after the first set of primaries.


Alan Cranston was born in Palo Alto, California, the son of Carol and William MacGregor Alan Cranston.


Alan Cranston attended Pomona College for one year and studied abroad for a summer at the National Autonomous University of Mexico before graduating from Stanford University in 1936 with a degree in English.


Alan Cranston was a correspondent for the International News Service for two years before World War II.


Alan Cranston successfully pushed the California legislature to pass the 1949 World Federalist California Resolution, calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to allow US participation in a federal world government.


Also in the late 1940s, Alan Cranston began his longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons.


In 1952, Alan Cranston co-founded the California Democratic Council, and served as chairman.


In 1968, Alan Cranston was elected to the first of four terms in the United States Senate, defeating Republican Max Rafferty in the general election after the staunchly conservative Rafferty had defeated the liberal Republican incumbent, Thomas Kuchel, in that party's primary.


Alan Cranston predicted victory for the resolution when it was taken up for a vote by the entire chamber, but the Senate defeated it on May 13,1969, by a vote of 52 to 40.


In November 1973, Alan Cranston announced his support for the nomination of Gerald Ford as vice president.


Alan Cranston's allegations were corroborated later that day by a former VA employee.


In 1979, after 19 senators signed a letter indicating that their support for the SALT II treaty hinged on President Jimmy Carter's response to its impact on US defense posture, Alan Cranston said their concerns were legitimate but mostly did not "relate directly to the text of the SALT II treaty" and it was likely that their reservations about the treaty could be resolved without using killer amendments.


In 1980, Alan Cranston defeated Republican Paul Gann, 4,705,399 to 3,093,426.


In March 1981, Alan Cranston was one of 24 elected officials to issue a joint statement calling on the Reagan administration to find a peaceful solution to the Ulster conflict.


Alan Cranston was reelected in 1986, defeating Republican nominee Congressman Ed Zschau.


On October 2,1990, Alan Cranston was one of nine senators to vote against the nomination of David Souter for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.


Alan Cranston was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination for the 1984 election.


Alan Cranston became the first announced candidate on February 1,1983.


Alan Cranston finished a weak fourth in Iowa in February 1984 and dropped out a week later after finishing seventh out of eight candidates in New Hampshire, with only 2 percent of the vote.


On November 20,1991, Alan Cranston was reprimanded by the US Senate Select Committee on Ethics for "improper conduct" after Lincoln Savings head Charles Keating's companies contributed $850,000 to voter registration groups closely affiliated with Alan Cranston.


Alan Cranston decided against running for a fifth term while he battled prostate cancer.


Alan Cranston was succeeded as California's senior senator by Barbara Boxer.


Alan Cranston dedicated his retirement to the global abolition of nuclear weapons, first through the Nuclear Weapon Elimination Initiative of the State of the World Forum, and then as President of the Global Security Institute, which he founded in 1999.


Alan Cranston lived in Los Altos, California, from his retirement until his death on December 31,2000.