|United States Senator|
January 3, 1975 - January 3, 1981
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Iowa's 2nd district
January 3, 1965 - January 3, 1975
|James E. Bromwell|
John Chester Culver
August 8, 1932
Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ann Cooper (Divorced)|
Mary Jane Checchi
|Children||5, including Chet Culver|
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
|Branch/service||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1955-1958|
John Chester Culver (August 8, 1932 – December 26, 2018) was an American politician, writer and lawyer who represented Iowa in both the United States House of Representatives from 1965 to 1975 and the United States Senate from 1975 to 1981. He was a member of the Democratic Party and was the father of Chet Culver, who served as the 41st Governor of Iowa.
Culver was a graduate of both Harvard University and Harvard Law School. As an undergraduate, Culver played fullback on the Harvard football team with the future Senator Edward Kennedy. He was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 27th round of the 1954 NFL Draft. Rather than try out for professional football, he attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge University as the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar. After his return, he served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps from 1955 to 1958.
Culver was inducted into the Harvard Football Hall of Fame in 1978.
He worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Edward Kennedy in 1962 and began his law practice in Iowa a year later. In 1964, he ran against Republican Rep. James E. Bromwell. With President Lyndon Johnson's landslide victory, Democrats, including Culver were carried to victory.
In 1974, Culver ran for the U.S. Senate, defeating Davis Stanley for the seat left open by the retirement of Harold E. Hughes with 50.02% of the vote. Culver served one term in the Senate, from 1975 until 1981. With Ronald Reagan's national victory, Culver was defeated in 1980 by Chuck Grassley. Culver took 45.5% of the vote to Grassley's 53.5%.
In 2000, Culver co-authored American Dreamer, the first comprehensive biography of Henry A. Wallace.
At the time of his death, Culver was recently retired at the firm of Arent Fox in Washington, D.C., where he established the government affairs practice. He lived in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Mary Jane Checchi.
Culver was a featured speaker at the August 28, 2009 memorial service for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, speaking as his Harvard classmate and teammate, his colleague for a time in the Senate, and his longtime friend.
Until January 31, 2011, Culver was the interim director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was succeeded by former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, with Culver remaining on the board of advisers as director emeritus.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
James E. Bromwell
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 2nd congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Iowa
| U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Iowa
Served alongside: Dick Clark, Roger Jepsen