Courtney W. Campbell

Courtney Warren Campbell

U.S. Representative Courtney Campbell (undated photo)
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 1st congressional district
In office
January 3, 1953  January 3, 1955
Preceded by Chester B. McMullen
Succeeded by William C. Cramer
Personal details
Born (1895-04-29)April 29, 1895
Livingston County
Missouri, USA
Died December 22, 1971(1971-12-22) (aged 76)
Dunedin, Pinellas County
Resting place Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Florida
Political party Democratic
Residence Clearwater, Pinellas County
Alma mater

Westminster College

University of Missouri
Occupation Businessman, citrus farmer, lawyer

Courtney Warren Campbell (April 29, 1895 December 22, 1971) was from 1953 to 1955 a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida's 1st congressional district, then based about St. Petersburg, Florida but since moved to the Florida Panhandle as far west as Pensacola.


Campbell was born in Chillicothe, Missouri, and educated at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and thereafter the University of Missouri at Columbia. During World War I, he served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1924 in Missouri and Florida and practiced from 1924 to 1928 in Tampa. He also worked as a citrus farmer, banker, and land developer.[1]

Political life

Campbell served as the assistant attorney general of Florida and from 1941 to 1946 was a member of the Florida War Labor Relations Board. From 1942 to 1947, he was a member of the Florida State Road Board. In 1948, the Davis Causeway across Tampa Bay was renamed the Courtney Campbell Causeway in his honor. Campbell had spearheaded efforts to ensure repairs and beautification of the causeway.[1]

Campbell was elected in 1952 to the Eighty-third Congress (January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1955), when the one-term Democratic incumbent Chester B. McMullen did not seek reelection.[1] Campbell was challenged by the Republican State Representative William C. Cramer of St. Petersburg. A native of Denver, Colorado, Cramer spent $25,000 in a handshaking campaign about Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando counties. Cramer benefit from running on the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket though he lost to Campbell by .7 of 1 percent. In 1954, with a stronger organization, Cramer rebounded and unseated Campbell by the same .7 percent margin by which he had lost in 1952. He spent $40,000, an amount insufficient for television advertising in the then still new medium. The Florida Republican Party, which offered Cramer nothing in 1952, contributed $4,000 in 1954.[2]

Campbell's Democratic colleague Robert L. F. Sikes of Crestview, Florida, depicted Campbell as:

hard-working, dedicated, and capable but ineffective in public speaking. It was easy to diagnose the trouble. Courtney couldn't cope with the articulate Cramer on the platform. His speeches were wooden and uninteresting. I attempted to help him and even wrote out some short messages which I thought would be effective in getting his story across to his constituents. I was dismayed when I heard him deliver them. He sounded like a third grader struggling through a reading assignment. Cramer was articulate, a successful lawyer, and he already enjoyed some recognition in public life. In my effort to help Campbell, I said that Cramer, serving in a Democratic Congress, would be like a lost ball in high weeds. Bill never let me forget that statement, although subsequently we became good friends.[2]

In 1955, Cramer began the first of eight terms with the Eighty-fourth Congress. As his colleague Sikes had predicted, all of Cramer's tenure was in the minority party.

After his single term in Congress, Campbell returned to his extensive business and civic interests and resided in Clearwater, Florida. He died in Dunedin, Florida, and is interred at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Campbell, Courtney Warren (1895-1971)". bioguide.congress. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  2. 1 2 Billy Hathorn, "Cramer v. Kirk: The Florida Republican Schism of 1970," The Florida Historical Quarterly, LXVII, No. 4 (April 1990), p. 406
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chester B. McMullen
United States Representative from Florida's 1st congressional district (then Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando counties)

Courtney Warren Campbell

Succeeded by
William C. Cramer
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