James A. Rinehart

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James A. Rinehart

James A. Rinehart

“In the Senate, Jim Rinehart was known as a ‘self-thinker;’ a stubborn independent who did not like blocs; who could stand up under high pressure and smile when he said ‘no.’”
Harlow’s Weekly


Born in Texas and raised on a farm in the “Big Pasture” reservation near Duncan, James A. Rinehart was a graduate of Duncan High School in 1920 and received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1923. He became a Canadian County assistant attorney the summer after his graduation and was elected as county judge in 1924. He started a private law practice in El Reno in 1927 and his sons joined him in the same firm in 1957. He was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 1934 and re-elected to six four-year terms, where he served as president pro tempore in 1939 and senate majority leader two years later, before resigning in 1958 to make an unsuccessful run at the Democratic nomination for governor in Oklahoma.

Fun fact

James Rinehart was referred to in both the House and Senate and by colleagues and newspapermen as “Dean of the Senate.”

Oklahoma connections

Rinehart settled with his parents near Duncan at the age of 6 months.


El Reno


Attorney/Public Servant




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