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Walter Joseph Hickel

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Walter Hickel

Walter Joseph "Wally" Hickel (born August 18 1919) is an American Republican politician who was the Governor of Alaska from 1966 to 1969, and again from 1990 to 1994. He resigned on January 29 1969 to be United States Secretary of the Interior from 1969 to 1970 under President Richard Nixon.

He was fired from the office by President Nixon following his criticism of Nixon's failure to address the concerns of young people. In 1970 following the shooting of college students at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard, Hickel wrote a letter critical of Nixon's Vietnam War policy and urging him to give more respect to the views of young people critical of the war. This dissent garnered worldwide media attention, and on Thanksgiving eve 1970, Hickel was called into Nixon's office and fired over the letter.

During his first term as governor Hickel was elected as a member of the U.S. Republican Party. By 1990, however, he had come to sympathize with the Alaskan Independence Party, and he was elected that year on the Alaskan Independence Party ticket, defeating Democrat Tony Knowles. However, he rejoined the Republican party in April 1994.

Hickel is also a real estate developer and chairman of Hickel Investment Company. He was born in Ellinwood, Kansas.

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Preceded by:
William A. Egan
Governor of Alaska
1966–1969
Succeeded by:
Keith H. Miller
Preceded by:
Stewart Udall
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
1969–1970
Succeeded by:
Rogers Morton
Preceded by:
Steve C. Cowper
Governor of Alaska
1990–1994
Succeeded by:
Tony Knowles

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