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Keith George Sebelius

Politician. Republican. Born: September 10, 1916, Almena, Kansas. Died:  September 5, 1982, Norton, Kansas. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District: January 3, 1969, to January 3, 1981.

The son of the local dentist, Keith G. Sebelius was born in Almena, Norton County, Kansas, on September 10, 1916, and attended the Almena public schools. He graduated from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1939 and the George Washington University Law School in 1942. Sebelius practiced law in Kansas and District of Columbia and served in the military during World War II and the Korean conflict—drafted as a private before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sebelius spent the war as a counter-intelligence agent in the Panama Canal Zone and left the service a second lieutenant. He was city councilman, mayor, and city attorney of Almena, Norton County attorney and mayor of Norton, and a state senator (appointed in 1962 and elected in 1964) before his first election to the U.S. Congress in 1968 (served, January 3, 1969-January 3, 1981). After representing the people of Kansas's "Big First" District for a dozen years, Congressman Sebelius chose not to seek reelection in 1980 and returned to his law practice in Norton, where he died on September 5, 1982. He was named the Native Sons and Daughters' Kansan of the Year in 1980. The former congressman and his wife Bette had two sons: Gary Sebelius, the husband of Kansas's former Democratic governor, Kathleen Sebelius, and Douglas Sebelius. U.S. Representative Keith Sebelius' House papers, 1969-1980, are available for research in the State Archives.

Entry: Sebelius, Keith George

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: September 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.