“There’s nothing peculiar about it…Carl has tact and energy, intelligence, education and a sense of responsibility. And mind you, sir, these things don’t always go together. I’ve been watching House members since Woodrow Wilson’s administration and I can tell big timber from small brush.”
Carl Burt Albert, Oklahoma’s own “Little Giant from Little Dixie” was born in McAlester, Oklahoma, and moved with his family to Bug Tussle in 1911. He graduated from McAlester High School and won numerous oratorical awards, participating in a series of speech finals before the justices of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma (1931) and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (1933-1934) before returning to work for the Federal Housing Administration in central and western Oklahoma (1935-1937).
While practicing law he was drafted into the U.S. Army (1941-1946) and won his first election to Congress in 1946. He became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1947 and he was elected Speaker of the House (1971-1977). He returned to McAlester, Oklahoma in 1977 and his memoirs, Little Giant: The Life and Times of Speaker Carl Albert, were published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1990.
As Speaker of the House, Carl Albert found himself within a heartbeat of becoming President of the United States twice – first with the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew in 1973, and then after the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
Albert was born and raised in McAlester, Oklahoma.