Howard C. Nielson
|Member of the Utah Senate|
from the 16th district
January 20, 1997 - January 14, 2001
|Charles H. Stewart|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Utah's 3rd district
January 3, 1983 - January 3, 1991
|Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives|
January 8, 1973 - January 12, 1975
|Ronald L. Rencher|
|Member of the Utah House of Representatives|
January 9, 1967 - January 12, 1975
|Born||September 12, 1924|
Richfield, Utah, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Julie Adams (died 2003)|
Donna Packard (2006-2015; her death)
|Children||7 (including Howard Jr.)|
|Alma mater||University of Utah (B.S.)|
University of Oregon (M.S.)
Stanford University (M.B.A., Ph.D)
|Branch/service||United States Army Air Forces|
|Years of service||1943-1946|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Nielson was born in Richfield, Utah; his paternal grandparents were immigrants from Denmark. After graduating from Richfield High School in 1942, he served as a sergeant in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II from 1943 to 1946. He continued his education, earning his B.S. from the University of Utah in 1947, M.S. from the University of Oregon in 1949, and M.B.A. and Ph.D from Stanford University in 1956 and 1958, respectively.
He later founded the Department of Statistics at Brigham Young University, Provo.
Nielson first served in political office as a member of the Utah House of Representatives from 1967 to 1974, serving as Speaker of the House in his last term. He was an associate commissioner on the Utah Commission for Higher Education for two years. He was a delegate to the Utah State Republican Conventions from 1960 to 1982.
He was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Utah and served four terms, from January 3, 1983 to January 3, 1991. While in Congress, Nielson sponsored two resolutions calling on Israel to reopen Palestinian schools and colleges. In 1985 he was one of just two "nay" voters on a resolution urging Taiwan to extradite gangster Chen Chi-li, who had murdered dissident journalist Henry Liu in San Francisco the previous year. He also cosponsored a bill to limit tobacco advertising. He also was a leading proponent of releasing the names of people who tested positive for AIDS to Public Health Officials. Nielson was also one of the main negotiators of the 1990 Clean Air Act. Nielson was an early promoter of rating of song lyrics.
Nielson and his wife Julie had seven children - 3 sons and 4 daughters. He retired from Congress so he could serve as a Mormon missionary with his wife. They served as missionaries in both Australia and Hungary.
Nielson's first wife died in 2003. He later married Donna Esther Brown, herself a widow and the sister of one of his former House colleagues, Ron Packard of California. Donna died in 2015 of bone marrow cancer.
One of Nielson's children, Howard Jr., is a Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Utah beginning in 2019.