Lyle H. Boren
Lyle H. Boren
“I want you to listen real close. There’s a lot you can learn from everyone you meet.”
Lyle Hagler Boren was born in Texas and moved with his family to Oklahoma at the age of seven. Upon graduation from Choctaw High School in 1927, Boren completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and government from East Central State College (now East Central University) in Ada and Oklahoma A & M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater. While in college, he wrote a book of poems titled Evening Bells. Later works include Fables in Labels, a result of his research on truth and lending legislation which he helped to pass in Congress, and A History of the Santa Fe Trail. After a short stint teaching school, Boren entered the race for the Democratic nomination in the Fourth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Although he lost the election, he launched a political career that carried him to victory in the general election of 1936. Serving in Congress from 1937 to 1947, Boren authored or influenced a wide range of legislation: the Civic Aeronautics Act, securities legislation, Interstate Oil Compact, organization for the National Cancer Institute, and selected locations for National Defense airfields built during World War II. He rubbed shoulders with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Lyndon B. Johnson, Sam Rayburn, and others who shaped American foreign and domestic policy through the Great Depression and World War II. Boren organized the first National Boy Scout Jamboree in the late 1930s and served on the National Council for many years. After leaving Congress, he returned to Oklahoma and became a cattle rancher. Boren was one of the original founders of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. In 1957, he became a lobbyist for the Association of Western Railroads and served as an assistant Oklahoma insurance commissioner until his retirement. His life and times were the subject of a Trackmaker biography, Lyle Boren: Rebel Congressman by Bob Burke and Von Creel, published by Oklahoma Heritage Association Publishing (now Oklahoma Hall of Fame Publishing) in 1991.
When Lyle Boren was elected to Congress at age 26, he was the youngest to serve since Henry Clay. He regularly played poker with Harry Truman and shopped for cigars with Winston Churchill.
Boren came with his family to Oklahoma in 1917.