Samuel P. Goddard Papers


Businessman, Lawyer, and Arizona Politician

After his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1946, Goddard settled in Tucson and went to law school at the University of Arizona. Goddard established strong ties to his adopted community as a lawyer, businessman, and amateur musician. Several of his classmates at the University of Arizona would also become prominent political figures in Arizona including Raul Castro, who served as the 14th governor of Arizona and U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador and Argentina and Mo Udall, who represented the state of Arizona for 14 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. While at the University of Arizona, Goddard was elected president of the Student Bar Association. In 1949, Goddard earned his L.L.B. degree from the University of Arizona and began practicing law in Tucson the same year.

While Goddard continued to pursue his new profession as a lawyer, he also returned to the skills he had learned in the army and started a mobile radio business with Clayton Niles. Like Goddard, Niles had worked with radio and communication in the military during World War II. Their first business serviced radios. They bought Golden West Radio, renamed Niles Radio Center, in 1951. In 1952, they established a communications business Tucson Radio Telephone Service, later called General Communication Service. Their two-way-commmunication business provided reception between car radios and a central points used by businesses. Goddard and Niles later sold the radio company and merged the communications company with Communication Industries of Dallas, Texas. No longer business partners, their friendship continued as Niles helped Goddard with his gubernatorial campaigns. Goddard also learned to fly in order to fix radio antennas for the business, a skill that would come in handy later when Goddard flew himself around the state of Arizona to campaign for governor.

After his arrival in Tucson, Goddard established strong ties to the community as a lawyer and businessman. He also learned to paint and helped establish the 'Water Color Guild', an art school on the edge of his property in Tucson. Goddard continued his interest in the arts with the establishment of the Tucson Festival of the Arts. He was named Tucson's Man of the Year for 1959 for his role in founding the festival as the first president, and his leadership as campaign director of the first United Way campaign to make its goal.

Goddard entered the political arena when he was asked to head the southern portion of a campaign for a Democratic candidate for governor, Lee Ackerman. Ackerman lost the 1960 election to Paul Fannin. However, Goddard's step into the political arena led him to run for the same position that he campaigned for Lee Ackerman two years later against the incumbent Paul Fannin. In 1960, Goddard was elected chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. It was the beginning of a political career and involvement in Arizona politics that would last over three decades.

To learn more about Sam Goddard's life and career please view the biographical outline.

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