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Hoegh, Leo A.



  • Existence: 1908-2000


A native of the southern Iowa town of Chariton, Leo A. Hoegh was born on March 30, 1908. He attended the University of Iowa, receiving his BA in 1929 and his law degree in 1932. He returned to Chariton to start his law practice. In 1937, he won a seat in Iowa's House of Representatives. While serving in the House he was also working as Chariton's City Attorney. He left the legislature to enlist in the army in 1942. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and it was while serving at the German front that he first met Dwight D. Eisenhower. Hoegh returned to his law practice after the war and was Iowa's Attorney General from 1952 to 1954. He was elected Governor in 1954. As governor, Hoegh modernized the school system, increased state aid to education, improved state highways, and reformed health care treatment for the mentally ill. To pay for these programs taxes were raised. These tax increases led to Hoegh's defeat in the next election.

Leaving the office of governor in 1957, Hoegh moved to Washington, DC where he became the civil defense administrator. From 1958 to 1961, he served on the Eisenhower administration's National Security Council as the director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. His office helped to fan America's fear of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union in those early years of the Cold War and promoted the building of bomb shelters. He left Washington and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he practiced law until his retirement in 1975. Leo A. Hoegh died on July 15, 2000, at the age of 92.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Leo A. Hoegh Papers

Identifier: MsC0098

Governor and state representative from Iowa, federal official. Papers comprised primarily of speeches relating to civil defense; there are also correspondence files, clippings, and photographs regarding his governorship.

Dates: 1929-1978