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Fithian, Floyd James, 1928-



  • Existence: November 3, 1928 - June 27, 2003

Biographical Information

Floyd James Fithian, farmer, author, teacher, professor, naval officer, and congressman, was born in Vesta, Johnson County, Nebraska on November 3, 1928. He graduated from Vesta High School in 1947 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Peru State College in 1951. He continued his education and received his Master of Arts in history in 1955 and a PhD in history in 1964 from the University of Nebraska. While engaged in his studies Fithian taught history in California from 1955 to 1959 and later briefly at Nebraska Wesleyan University. From 1964 to 1974 he was an associate professor of history at Purdue University.

Fithain also served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955 and the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1971. Fithian retired with the rank of Commander in 1971.

In 1971, Fithian turned his attention to politics. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress in 1972, but won election in Indiana’s Second Congressional District in 1974 to the 94th Congress. Fithian was re-elected to Congress multiple times, serving from 1975-1983. During his years in the United States Congress he served on the Small Business, Government Operations, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture Committees. In 1983 Fithian was an unsuccessful candidate for Senate, where he was defeated by Richard Lugar. After leaving Congress he was appointed to the post of Finance Director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee from 1983 to 1984. Fithian then became the Chief of Staff for Senator Paul Simon of Illinois from 1985 through 1996. He became President of the Indiana Council for Social Studies and later board secretary of the Farm Credit Administration during the 1990s. Congressman Fithian is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Floyd Fithian papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 1
Scope and Contents This collection contains the congressional files of U.S. House Representative Floyd J. Fithian. The papers cover a wide variety of subjects, but are particularly rich in the history of environmental awareness in the United States. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory. Please note that although the collection is open and available for research use, the collection has been minimally processed so an archivist's review of each box will be needed prior to providing access.
Dates: Other: Majority of material found in 1970s-1980s; Other: Date acquired: 04/02/1983

Floyd Fithian papers, addition 01

 Unprocessed — Box: Communal Accessions 50
Identifier: 2023-147
Dates: 1974 - 2017; Majority of material found within 1974 - 1981