Utah Democratic Ex-Sen. Frank Moss Dies at 91

Posted February 4, 2003 at 1:15pm

Former Utah Sen. Frank Moss (D) died Jan. 29 at the age of 91 after becoming ill with pneumonia.

The three-term Senator served from 1959 to 1977, focusing his career on environmental, consumer, and health care issues.

Moss began his career in 1937 as an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission after receiving his law degree from George Washington University.

A Salt Lake City native and 1933 graduate of the University of Utah, Moss returned to his home state in 1939 to clerk for Utah Supreme Court Justice James Wolfe.

In 1940, Moss won election to Salt Lake City’s municipal court.

Moss, who served as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, worked for the judge advocate general of the Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II.

He returned to Utah and served another term as city judge before making a successful bid to become Salt Lake County attorney in 1950 and winning re-election in 1954.

Moss failed to win the Beehive State’s governorship in 1956, but won his first bid for Congress in 1958.

During his tenure in the Senate, Moss served as chairman of the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee and secretary of the Democratic Conference. As a member of the Commerce Committee he worked to improve labeling on cigarettes and to ban cigarette advertising on radio and television.

After being defeated by now-Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) in his 1976 re-election bid, Moss returned to practicing law.

Moss is survived by his wife, Phyllis Hart Moss, with whom he had four children.

— Jennifer Yachnin