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About Senator Frank Church

Church family
Frank and Bethine Church Digital Collection, Albertsons Library

Church, Frank Forrester, 1924–1984

Senate Years of Service: 1956–1981
Party: Democrat

Frank Church was born in Boise, Ada County, Idaho, July 25, 1924. He graduated from Stanford (Calif.) University in 1947 and from Stanford Law School in 1950. During the Second World War he served in the United States Army and was assigned to Military Intelligence in India, Burma, and China in 1942-1946. He was admitted to the bar in 1950 and commenced the practice of law in Boise, Idaho.

He was later elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1956 then reelected in 1962, 1968, and again in 1974 and served from January 3, 1957, to January 3, 1981. He was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection in 1980.

In the Senate, he served as chairman of The Special Committee on Aging, The Special Committee on Termination of National Emergencies, The Select Committee on Government Intelligence Activities, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. He also served on the Committee on the Interior.

He was chosen as the United States delegate to the twenty-first General Assembly of the United Nations. He resumed the practice of law in Washington D.C. until his death on April 7, 1984. He is buried in Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, Idaho.


Ashby, LeRoy, and Rod Gramer. Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1994; Church, F. Forrester. Father and Son: A Personal Biography of Senator Frank Church of Idaho. New York: Harper Row, 1985.

From the Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives

Memorial Services for Frank Church

The first video includes the funeral service from the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, Idaho as well as the memorial service in Washington, D.C.

The second video includes coverage of the Boise funeral (recorded from KAID) as well as a roundtable with former Governors Andrus, Evans, and Smylie paying tribute to Church.


Watch the memorial services

Service and discussion

Watch the memorial services and roundtable discussion