Utah History to Go
The 10 Utahns Who Most Influenced Our State in the 20th Century

The 10 Utahns Who Most Influenced Our State in the 20th Century
This material courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune, Saturday, January 1, 2000

See Runners-up for the Most Influential Utahns of the 20th Century

Maurice Abravanel Maurice Abravanel
(1903 - 1993)
Music director of the Utah Symphony for more than three decades, Abravanel converted a community orchestra into a nationally ranked symphony. A tireless promoter of community support for the musical arts, Abravanel set a standard of excellence that prompted a performing arts renaissance in Utah.
Reva Bosone Reva Beck Bosone
(1895 - 1983)
A one-time high school teacher who became Utah's first woman member of Congress and one of its first female lawyers, Bosone was indefatigable in her campaign to raise the image of women in politics and public office. Combating crime, alcoholism and jail conditions in Utah were her constant challenges as she became a city judge. She ended her career as the chief judicial officer for the US Postal Department.
Marriner Eccles Marriner Eccles
(1890 - 1977)
Eccles built First Security Corp., the nation's first multibank holding company, which laid the foundation for a business-financial empire that continues to be the leading support of public-service projects in Utah. His farsighted monetary policies caught the eye of President Franklin Roosevelt, and Eccles became one of the architects of Roosevelt's New Deal efforts to end the Great Depression. He served 13 years as the reforming chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Philo Farnsworth Philo Farnsworth
(1906 - 1971)
Inventor of the television, Farnsworth's eventual influence on Utah was as significant as his influence on the rest of the world. TV transformed daily life. A native Utahn educated at BYU, Farnsworth was only 21 when, with a camera, synchronization system and receiver, he produced the first operational all-electronic television system.
Jon Huntsman Sr. Jon Huntsman Sr.
(1937 -   )
Born into humble means, Huntsman has become the state?s most successful entrepreneur. The global Huntsman Chemical Corp. is the largest privately held chemical company in North America. But he has donated much of his wherewithal to others, primarily to institutions of higher learning and to medical research, highlighted by the recent opening of the Huntsman Cancer institute at the University of Utah.
Daniel Jackling Daniel Jackling
(1859 - 1956)
The father of Utah copper mining, Jackling helped found the Utah Copper Co. in 1903. Figuring mining would only be profitable with the open-pit method of ore recovery, he began in Bingham Canyon what was to become the world's largest open-pit mine. Kennecott eventually bought the mine, and copper became king in Utah.
Spencer Kimball Spencer W. Kimball
(1895 - 1985)
Presiding over the LDS Church in 1978, Kimball had a revelation negating the church's ban on black males in the priesthood, and as a result opened the door to membership growth throughout the world. With the revelation, the world?s perception of Utah and Utah's perception of the world in regard to race changed.
David McKay David O. McKay
( 1873 - 1970)
As president of the LDS Church from 1951 to 1970, leading the church's emergence from parochial obscurity to a worldwide religion, McKay made the Mormon Church an active player in civic projects, encouragement of new business ventures and in the promotion of tourism. The encouragement of tolerance in inter-religious relationships was another trademark of his tenure.
Calvin Rampton Calvin Rampton
(1913 -   )
A three-term Democratic governor from 1965 to 1977, Rampton launched economic development programs through business-government partnerships that were the foundation for the present-day economic health in Utah. He was the first governor to seriously include minorities in his administration and launched an aggressive building program on higher education campuses.
Reed Smoot Reed Smoot
(1862 - 1941)
At first denied his seat in the Senate because of his LDS Church ties, Smoot was finally seated after the church's "Second Manifesto" in 1904 excommunicating any Mormon practicing polygamy. Smoot served almost 30 years in Congress, 10 as chairman of the Finance Committee where his conservative stand on protectionism was felt by many to have prompted the Great Depression of the 1930s.   He also is considered the father of Republican resurgence in Utah.

top of page

The Land
American Indians
Trappers, Traders, & Explorers
Pioneers & Cowboys
Mining & Railroads
Statehood & the Progressive Era
From War to War
Utah Today