Howard C. Nielson
Member of the Utah Senate
from the 16th district
In office
January 20, 1997 – December 31, 2000
Preceded byCharles H. Stewart
Succeeded byCurt Bramble
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1991
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byBill Orton
Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 1973 – January 12, 1975
Succeeded byRonald L. Rencher
Member of the Utah House of Representatives
In office
January 9, 1967 – January 12, 1975
Personal details
Howard Curtis Nielson

(1924-09-12)September 12, 1924
Richfield, Utah, U.S.
DiedMay 20, 2020(2020-05-20) (aged 95)
South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Julia Adams (died 2003)
Donna Packard (2006–2015; her death)
Children7 (including Howard Jr. and Jim)
Alma materUniversity of Utah (BS)
University of Oregon (MS)
Stanford University (MBA, PhD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Air Forces
Years of service1943–1946
Battles/warsWorld War II

Howard Curtis Nielson (September 12, 1924 – May 20, 2020) was an American politician in the Republican Party. From 1983 to 1991, Nielson represented Utah's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.

Early life

Nielson was born in Richfield, Utah; his paternal grandparents were immigrants from Denmark.[1] After graduating from Richfield High School in 1942, he served as a sergeant in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II from 1943 to 1946. He continued his education, earning his B.S. from the University of Utah in 1947, M.S. from the University of Oregon in 1949, and M.B.A. and Ph.D from Stanford University in 1956 and 1958, respectively.[2]

He later founded the Department of Statistics at Brigham Young University, Provo.

Political career

Nielson first served in political office as a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1967 to 1974, serving as Speaker of the House in his last term. He was an associate commissioner on the Utah Commission for Higher Education for two years. He was a delegate to the Utah State Republican Conventions from 1960 to 1982.[2]

He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Utah and served four terms, from January 3, 1983 to January 3, 1991. While in Congress, Nielson sponsored two resolutions calling on Israel to reopen Palestinian schools and colleges.[3] In 1985 he was one of just two "nay" voters on a resolution urging Taiwan to extradite gangster Chen Chi-li, who had murdered dissident journalist Henry Liu in San Francisco the previous year.[4][5] He also cosponsored a bill to limit tobacco advertising.[6] He also was a leading proponent of releasing the names of people who tested positive for AIDS to Public Health Officials.[7] Nielson was also one of the main negotiators of the 1990 Clean Air Act.[8] Nielson was an early promoter of rating of song lyrics.[9]

In 1996, Nielson was elected to the Utah State Senate.[10] He retired from Congress so he could serve as a Mormon missionary with his wife. They served as missionaries in both Australia and Hungary.[11]

Personal life

Nielson and his wife Julia had seven children, three sons and four daughters.[12]

Nielson's first wife died in 2003. He later married Donna Esther Brown, herself a widow and the sister of one of his former House colleagues, Ron Packard of California.[10] Donna died in 2015 of bone marrow cancer.[13] Howard Nielson died on May 20, 2020 at the age of 95.[14]

One of Nielson's children, Howard Jr., is a Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Utah beginning in 2019.[15][16]

See also


  1. ^ "United States Census, 1930", FamilySearch, retrieved March 6, 2018
  2. ^ a b "NIELSON, Howard Curtis, (1924 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Deseret News, February 1st, 1991
  4. ^ House Vote #49 in 1985,, retrieved 2012-07-27
  5. ^ "Taiwan Rejects Request by U.S. for 2 Convicts". The New York Times. 1985-04-18. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
  6. ^ Deseret News June 27th, 1990
  7. ^ Deseret News June 14th, 1990
  8. ^ Deseret News May 24th, 1990
  9. ^ Deseret News, April 25th, 1990
  10. ^ a b Deseret Morning News, October 8th, 2006
  11. ^ Famous Mormons in Politics Archived 2008-04-16 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Deseret News August 6th, 1990
  13. ^ Obituary: Donna Esther Packard Brown Nielson Published in The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Former Utah Congressman Howard Nielson dies
  15. ^ " President Donald J. Trump Announces Eighth Wave of Judicial Candidates" White House, September 28, 2017
  16. ^ Roll Call Vote 116th Congress - 1st Session United States Senate Vote Summary: Vote Number 123, United States Senate, May 22, 2019
U.S. House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Bill Orton
Utah State Senate
Preceded by
Charles H. Stewart
Member of the Utah State Senate
from the 16th district

Succeeded by
Curt Bramble