Jack M. Campbell (1916-1999) was elected governor of New Mexico in 1962 and reelected in 1964, the first New Mexico governor in twelve years to win a second term. In this engaging autobiography, Campbell traces his life story across major historical events in the country and New Mexico. From humble beginnings on the plains of Kansas through his career as an FBI agent and his first days practicing law in Albuquerque, Campbell writes of his early attraction to the beauty and culture of New Mexico. After serving in the US Marine Corps in World War II, he returned to New Mexico and devoted himself to improving the state's political and economic circumstances as a legislator, governor, and private citizen. Through a series of impressive accomplishments, he succeeded in bringing the state fully into the twentieth century. Campbell truly was New Mexico's first modern governor.
"This book is a significant contribution to the historiography of twentieth-century New Mexico. Many New Mexicans will read it and wonder what might have been."--New Mexico Historical Review
"The gubernatorial administration of Jack Campbell was among the most consequential of modern times. He was instrumental in expanding New Mexico's role in national affairs and moving the state in progressive directions. Enduring commitments to science, education, and good government are most apparent in this engaging narrative of his life and times."--David L. Caffey, author of Chasing the Santa Fe Ring: Power and Privilege in Territorial New Mexico
"Often overlooked in the shadow of more flamboyant politicians of his era, Jack Campbell, with the assistance of Maurice Trimmer and Charles C. Poling, has written an autobiography that helps secure his status as New Mexico's first 'modern governor' in both governing style and impressive achievements."--Richard Melzer, coauthor of A History of New Mexico Since Statehood
"There is much to admire in the life and public service of Jack Campbell. I feel privileged to have known him and worked with him. This book is a testament to that life and public service. New Mexico is a better place for it."--Senator Jeff Bingaman, Foreword