William Lee Knous

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William Lee Knouse (February 2, 1889 - December 11, 1959) was a Colorado state legislator, Supreme Court justice and governor, and a US district judge.

He was born in Ouray, Colorado, the son of John Franklin Knous and Julia (Bain) Knous. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1911.

He moved to Montrose, Colorado, and subsequently became mayor, city attorney and deputy district attorney, and in 1929, was elected as a representative to the Colorado state legislature. He became a state senator in 1931.

In 1936, he was elected to the Colorado Supreme Court and moved to Denver, Colorado. He was elected governor of the state in 1946. Running for re-election in 1948, he carried every county in the state but one. Knous was appointed a US district judge in 1950.

According to the Colorado state archives, "He became the only man in the state ever to have occupied the highest seat in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government."

Knous married Elsie Marie Grabow on July 1, 1915. They had three children, William John, Robert Lee, and Merle Ray.

His son, Robert Lee Knous, was subsequently a lieutenant governor of Colorado from 1959 to 1967.


Preceded by:
John Charles Vivian
Governor of Colorado
1947-1950
Succeeded by:
Walter Walford Johnson

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