Former Republican Senate Whip Alan K. Simpson was chosen to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in February 2010.
After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1954, Simpson joined the Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In November 1954, he was ordered to Fort Benning, Ga. He served overseas in the 5th Infantry Division and in the 2nd Armored Division in the final months of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in 1956, Simpson returned to the University of Wyoming and completed his law degree in 1958.
After being admitted to the Wyoming Bar and the United States District Court in 1958, and serving for a short time as Wyoming assistant attorney general, Simpson joined his father, Milward L. Simpson, in the law firm of Simpson, Kepler and Simpson in his hometown of Cody. He practiced law there for the next 18 years, and he also served as city attorney for 10 years.
Simpson’s political career began in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of majority whip, majority floor leader and speaker pro-tem.
In 1978, Simpson was elected to the United States Senate. After his first term, he was re-elected in 1984 and then again in 1990 to a third term. Following his first term in the Senate, Simpson was elected by his peers to the position of the assistant majority leader in 1984 and served in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final term Jan. 3, 1997.
Simpson has periodically taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as at his alma mater.