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William L. Armstrong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William L. Armstrong
Sen William L Armstrong.jpg
President of Colorado Christian University
In office
August 2006 – July 5, 2016
Preceded byLarry Donnithorne
Succeeded byDonald W. Sweeting
United States Senator
from Colorado
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1991
Preceded byFloyd Haskell
Succeeded byHank Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byKen Kramer
Personal details
William Lester Armstrong

(1937-03-16)March 16, 1937
Fremont, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedJuly 5, 2016(2016-07-05) (aged 79)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Resting placeFairmount Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ellie M. Eaton
EducationTulane University
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1957–1963
UnitArmy National Guard

William Lester Armstrong (March 16, 1937 – July 5, 2016) was an American businessman, administrator and politician. He was a member of the Republican party and served as a United States Representative and Senator from Colorado.[1] Armstrong died from cancer at the age of 79 on July 5th, 2016. [2] He is survived by his wife and two children, Wil Armstrong and Annie Sellman.

Early life and career

Armstrong was born in Fremont, Nebraska, and graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School. He was the son of William L. Armstrong, Sr. and Dorothy Steen Armstrong. His great-great uncle, Alexander Majorswas co-founder of the Pony Express, and of the famous Central Overland California and Pike's Peak Express Company, the main stagecoach line that connected St. Joseph, Missouri, Denver, and Salt Lake City.

Radio Career

At the age of eleven, he interviewed with a local radio station in Fremont and was given his own show on weekends to practice his DJ skills.

After high school, he met Todd Storz, known as the father of the Top 40 radio format. He hired Armstrong at KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska, then transferred him to WTIX in New Orleans, where he became America's first teenage Top 40 disc jockey.While there, he briefly attended Tulane University, but two years later, in 1956, he moved to Minneapolis  to work at WDGY. There he took classes at the University of Minnesota but did not earn a degree. Within a few months, he was appointed Program Director at the radio station, at the age of 20. He then chose to enlist in the United States National Guard from 1957 to 1963.

After returning from duty at age 22 in 1959, Armstrong bought radio station KOSI-AM in Aurora, Colorado, which became KEZW in 1981.[3][4] Armstrong founded KOSI-FM in 1968 before selling both the KOSI-AM and KOSI-FM stations 25 years later.[5] [6] He also was president of Ambassador Media, which owned television station KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho and satellite stations KKVI in Twin Falls, Idaho and KJVI in Jackson, Wyoming.[7][3][5][8][9]


In 1962, Armstrong became the youngest (at that time) person ever elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, where he served one term. He then served in the Colorado State Senate from 1964 to 1972, including two terms as President of the Senate.[10] In 1972, Armstrong was elected to the U.S. Congress from the new fifth district. He was reelected to the 94th and 95th Congresses .[11] In 1978, Armstrong was elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating former astronaut Jack Swigert in the GOP primary in September,[12] and Democratic incumbent Floyd Haskell in November. He and Swigert became good friends and Armstrong was with the former astronaut when he died from cancer in December 1982.[13][14]. Reelected in 1984, he served in the Senate for twelve years. Armstrong served on the Banking, Finance, and Budget Committees, and was noted for his successful effort to index personal income tax rates to the rate of inflation. He was the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee (99th through 101st Congresses); he opted to retire and did not seek reelection in 1990.

Armstrong was President of Colorado Christian University at the time of his death, having served in that position since 2006. He was on the Board of Directors for Campus Crusade for Christ.[15]

Armstrong became well known for his catchphrase "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

Armstrong died from cancer at the age of 79 in 2016.[3]


  1. ^ "William L. Armstrong". NNDB. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Former U.S. senator, university president Bill Armstrong has died". The Denver Post. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  3. ^ a b c Elliott, Dan (July 6, 2016). "William Armstrong, ex-US senator for Colorado, dies at 79". Associated Press. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  4. ^ "William Armstrong, ex-US senator for Colorado, dies at 79". AP NEWS. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  5. ^ a b "Remembering Bill Armstrong". KOSI. July 11, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "Bill Armstrong Obituary". Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  7. ^ Richard Fatherly & David MacFarland, The Birth of Top 40 Radio Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2014, p. 38.
  8. ^ "William L. "Bill" Armstrong, 1937-2016". Colorado Christian University. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Group Ownership" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1995. R.R. Bowker. 1995. p. A-98. ISBN 0835236013.
  10. ^ President Armstrong Announces Retirement
  11. ^ "Sen. William Armstrong". Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  12. ^ "Primaries kind to most incumbents". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). UPI. September 13, 1978. p. A-1.
  13. ^ "Apollo 13 astronaut dies at 51". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. December 28, 1982. p. A-9.
  14. ^ Treaster, Joseph B. (December 29, 1982). "Jack Swigert, astronaut elected to Congress, dies". New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Greetings from the President". Colorado Christian University. Retrieved October 6, 2012.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ken Kramer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gordon L. Allott
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado
(Class 2)

1978, 1984
Succeeded by
Hank Brown
Preceded by
John Tower
Chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Don Nickles
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Floyd K. Haskell
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
Served alongside: Gary Hart, Tim Wirth
Succeeded by
Hank Brown
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Larry Donnithorne
President of Colorado Christian University
Succeeded by
Donald W. Sweeting

[[Category:University of Minnesota alumni]

This page was last edited on 25 March 2020, at 19:04
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