Karl Mundt

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Person.png Karl Mundt   SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Karl Mund.jpg
Humboldt, South Dakota
Died1974-08-16 (Age 74)
Washington DC
Alma materColumbia University
SpouseMary Moses
U.S. congressman. Key proponent of establishing the propaganda sender Voice of America. Member of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Employment.png United States Senator from South Dakota

In office
December 31, 1948 - January 3, 1973
Succeeded byJames Abourezk

Karl Earl Mundt was an American educator and a Republican member of the United States Congress, representing South Dakota in the United States House of Representatives (1939–48) and in the United States Senate (1948–73).[1]


Carl Mundt graduated from college in Northfield, Minnesota in 1923. After that he first worked as a teacher at a high school in Bryant and in 1924 became the school board of this city. After graduating from Columbia University in 1927, he taught at State Teachers College in Madison, South Dakota until 1936.


Mundt held his first political office from 1931 to 1937 as a member of the State Gaming and Fishing Commission. From 1939 to 1948 he represented South Dakota's first constituency in the United States House of Representatives. On December 30, 1948, he resigned to fill Vera C. Bushfield's vacant seat in the United States Senate. Mundt held this mandate from December 31, 1948 to January 3, 1973, when he did not stand for re-election. He died in Washington the year after leaving Congress.

In the House of Representatives, Mundt sponsored and supported proposals for "Buy American" legislation, was a member of the Foreign Affairs committee from 1941 to 1948, and played a key role in encouraging the United States to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1945. He was a key proponent of the propaganda sender Voice of America, which was established as a result of the Smith-Mundt Act, signed into law in 1948. The law also formally banned directing this propaganda outlet directed against the U.S. home audience.

He was a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee from 1943 to 1948. HUAC's activities during this period included the Alger Hiss hearings and investigations of the motion picture industry.

He also introduced a modification to Title 50, criminalizing the passage of certain classified information to foreigners.[2]

Mundt voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957,[3] and 1968,[4] as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,[5] the Voting Rights Act of 1965,[6] and the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.[7]

As a Senator, Mundt was on the Senate's Appropriations Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, Government Operations Committee, and Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, and he represented the Senate on the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Commission. In 1954, he chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations for the Army-McCarthy Hearings. His accomplishments as a Senator included obtaining support for Missouri River projects, establishment of the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, agriculture programs, and Interstate highway construction in South Dakota.[8]

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