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Victor Wickersham: Your Best Friend PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 September 2008 03:10

By Bob Burke, UCO Press, 2001

Review: A great Oklahoma history trivia question is, "Who has run for public office more than anyone else?" The answer is longtime Congressman Victor Wickersham, according to Oklahoma City attorney, author and historian Bob Burke.

Burke's new book, "Victor Wickersham: Your Best Friend" (University of Central Oklahoma Press), chronicles the legacy of Wickersham, who spent more than half his adult life in public office. He ran for office 24 times, facing 105 men and one woman. He defeated 100 of the 106 opponents.

Wickersham, certainly one of the state's most colorful politicians, grew up in Mangum in Greer County. He served nearly two decades in the U.S. Congress. At more than 80 years old, he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Part of the title of his biography, "Your Best Friend," comes from the way Wickersham answered his telephone, whether at the office or at home. He would say, "This is Victor Wickersham, your best friend, what can I do for you?" When he ate in restaurants, he even went to the kitchen to lobby the cooks and dishwashers.

Wickersham would do nearly anything to publicize his candidacy. It was nothing to see him dressed like Uncle Sam in a town Founders Day parade. He appeared in World War II-era magazine ads for tires he tested on the way from Mangum to Washington, D.C. Even with his publicity events, Wickersham was a dedicated public servant. He cherished moments, day or night, when constituents called upon him for help.

Wickersham died in 1988, at age 82, while serving in the Oklahoma legislature.

- Eric Dabney, 2002, The Daily Oklahoman

(TO LEARN MORE ABOUT VICTOR WICKERSHAM, VISIT http://www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/archives/wickersh.htm WHICH CATALOGS HIS COLLECTION)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 02:08