Published: March 13, 2018

Tim Wirth, US Senator from Colorado

Tim Wirth, US Congressman and Senator from Colorado from 1974 to 1992, was one of several Democrats elected in a Post-Vietnam War reaction to conservative politics. He represented Boulder and the Denver suburbs in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975–1987.

In 1986, Wirth ran for the U.S. Senate, earning the Democratic nomination unopposed to replace Sen. Gary Hart, and going on to defeat fellow U.S. Representative Ken Kramer by a narrow margin. In the Senate, he focused on environmental issues, particularly global climate changeHe chose not to run for re-election in 1992, citing in a front page cover story in the Sunday New York Times Magazine (August 9, 1992), frustration with the ever-increasing role of money in politics to the exclusion of focus on public policy.

Tim Wirth's service in Congress included leading the fight against restarting plutonium operations at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant; developing a National Energy Policy to reduce dependence on foreign oil and promote alternative fuels; the Clean Air Act of 1990; reordering domestic priorities, in particular education and children's health; the building of Denver International Airport; bringing major league baseball to Colorado; and campaign finance reform.

The Tim Wirth papers at the CU Boulder Archives include the gamut of Wirth's career from press clippings to drafts of speeches.


100 Stories for 100 Years logoThe University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #15 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!