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John A. Love Papers

Identifier: M066


John Arthur Love (1916-2002) was governor of Colorado from 1962-1973. His gubernatorial terms saw increases in spending for education and pollution control, as well as the first state law legalizing abortion, and a "sunshine law", which opened government meetings to the public. After leaving the governorship, he became Director of the Office of Energy Policy under President Richard M. Nixon. He later served as CEO and Director of the Denver-based Ideal Basic Industries, taught history at the University of Northern Colorado, and served as a trustee of the University of Denver. The papers of John A. Love consist primarily of materials and correspondence related to his campaigns for governor of Colorado in 1962, 1966, and 1970 and his involvement with the Republican Governors Association. It also includes personal correspondence, documents and political correspondence relating to his terms in office and to the 1964 presidential election, and research publications on Colorado politics and demographics.


  • 1952-1973


Digital Repository

John A. Love Papers

Biographical / Historical

John A. Love was born November 29, 1916 in Illinois. When he was a child, his family moved to Colorado and settled in Colorado Springs in hopes of curing his father's respiratory illness. He graduated from The Cheyenne Mountain School in 1934 and then proceeded to the University of Denver, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1938 and a law degree in 1941. He was on the staff of the University of Denver student newspaper, The Clarion, and served as editor his senior year. He also served as president of the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association. World War II found Love in the U.S. Navy Aviation program. He was a pilot of amphibious bombers for over two years, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal with clusters. After the war he returned to Colorado Springs and opened a law practice, specializing in civil and corporate law.

Love was a political neophyte when he was elected governor of Colorado in 1962. It was his first elective office, but the Colorado Springs lawyer used his platform of lower taxes to defeat the incumbent, Stephen McNichols. He made good on this promise to lower taxes. During his three terms as governor, he was active in promoting Colorado throughout the United States. The tourist industry boomed during his tenure, as did the ski industry. With the support of Governor Love, Colorado was proposed as a host for the 1976 Winter Olympics. That opportunity was abandoned when, in 1972, a referendum refused to allow any state money to be used to stage the games. Love was a political moderate. His term in office saw increased funding for education as well as important water and air pollution legislation. In 1967, he signed the first state law in the U.S. legalizing abortion, and later approved the ''Sunshine Law,'' which opened government meetings to the public.

In 1973, Love resigned as governor to serve as the first Director of the Office of Energy Policy under President Richard M. Nixon. He left that position after five months and returned to Colorado and the private sector. He served on the Board of Directors and as CEO of Ideal Basic Industries, a cement manufacturer, as well as counsel to the Denver law firm of Davis, Graham & Stubbs. He also taught history at the University of Northern Colorado, and served multiple terms on the Board of Trustees of the University of Denver.

Love married Ann Daniels in 1942. She died in 1999. Governor Love died January 21, 2002, and was survived by his three children, Daniel Arthur, Major General John Andrew, and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis.


7 Linear Feet (7 record boxes)

Scope and Contents

John A. Love's papers consist of Love's personal and business information, including personal correspondence as well as correspondence and papers dealing with his involvement with the U.S. Navy and various charities. Information includes his work in connection with the Republican Governors Association and the Republican Coordinating Committee, a series of task forces researching and publishing white papers on specific issues. Political affairs are also covered in correspondence, publicity brochures, newspaper clippings, and general documentation of Love's gubernatorial campaigns. Included in this series are correspondence and materials related to other campaigns and party activities, notably correspondence relating to the 1964 presidential nomination and election, which saw the Republicans split in their support for Barry Goldwater. Also covered are public relations, including gubernatorial appointments and correspondence, speeches made by Love, and correspondence written on various legislative matters. Also included are publications, some bound and some in loose form, that cover research on Colorado politics and demographics.


Organized into five series:; 1. Personal.; 2. Politics - Republican organizations.; 3. Politics - Campaigns.; 4. Public relations.; 5. Publications.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John Love, August 3, 1976

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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