Josh Lee

Honorable Josh Lee

The Honorable Josh Lee graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1915 earning both a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and a Divinity Degree. Afterwards he attended the University of Oklahoma from 1915 to 1917 earning yet another Bachelors Degree in English. In April 1917, as the student body president, Josh Lee formed the Student Army Training Corps – the recognized forerunner to Army ROTC – two years before President Wilson formally asked for Army ROTC units in September 1919. He enlisted in the Army and served in the 13th Infantry Regiment. In 1934 during the “dustbowl” – one of the most challenging times in Oklahoma’s history he was elected to the 74th Congress from the 5th District and was most active in agricultural legislation. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1936 and served on the Foreign Relations and Military Affairs Committees; was appointed Senate Whip and was a member of the powerful steering committee that formed the bill that would become the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938. He was later appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to the Civil Aeronautics Board where he served for 13 years and retired in 1956. A master orator, he was known for his ability to capture the attention of audiences nationwide and soon became the highest paid speaker in the United States. Although he never held a pastoral position, he was also an ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Church. Josh Lee’s vision at the young age of 25 formed a lasting legacy that has provided the State of Oklahoma and our nation with exceptional leaders for more than 90 years.

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