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Reid, Charlotte Thompson (1913—)

Reid, Charlotte Thompson (1913—)

U.S. Republican congressional representative (1963–71). Name variations: Mrs. Frank R. Reid; (stage name) Annette King. Born Charlotte Leota Thompson

on September 27, 1913, in Kankakee, Illinois; daughter of Edward Charles Thompson and Ethel (Stith) Thompson; attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, 1930–32; studied voice privately, 1933–40; married Frank R. Reid, Jr. (an attorney), on January 1, 1938 (died August 1962); children: Patricia Reid (who married George Lindner); Frank R. Reid III; Edward Thompson Reid; Susan Reid.

A native of Kankakee, Illinois, Charlotte Thompson Reid graduated from East Aurora High School in 1930. She spent two years at Illinois College in Jacksonville before deciding to devote herself to the pursuit of a professional singing career. In 1936, she began singing on the radio under the name Annette King, on NBC's Chicago-based Don McNeill's Breakfast Club. In 1938, she married Aurora lawyer Frank Reid and soon became active in local politics, although her political career did not begin in earnest until 1962. That year, while he was campaigning for a Republican seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Frank died. County Republicans chose Charlotte to pick up his candidacy, and she defeated the Democratic nominee.

In Congress from 1963 until 1971, Reid served on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, the Committee on Public Works, and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. She championed agricultural price supports on behalf of her district, and supported the creation of a privately funded National Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. She introduced a constitutional amendment to allow public school students to engage in noncompulsory prayer, and opposed many of President Lyndon Johnson's social programs. Reid supported improvements to auto safety standards, a measure to outlaw certain types of rifle sales, a "Truth In Lending Law," and the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. During the Vietnam War, she was a determined advocate of the military policies of Johnson and Nixon.

In 1971, Reid resigned from the House to serve a five-year term on the Federal Communications Commission, following her nomination by President Nixon and confirmation by the Senate. From 1983 to 1985, she served on the President's Task Force on International Private Enterprise, and was a member of the Hoover Institution's Board of Overseers in 1984.

sources:

Office of the Historian. Women in Congress, 1917–1990. Commission on the Bicentenary of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1991.

Jacquie Maurice , freelance writer, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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