Samuel B. Pettengill, 1904
An influential member of the House of Representatives, philosopher, poet, and best-selling author.
For his achievements as an influential member of the House of Representatives, philosopher, poet, and best-selling author, Vermont Academy honors Samuel B. Pettengill, a 1904 graduate, with the Florence Sabin Distinguished Alumni Award. After graduating Middlebury College, Pettengill earned his law degree from Yale. He practiced law in Indiana, argued cases before the Supreme Court, and was elected to the US Congress based on a campaign for the repeal of prohibition.
Pettengill served four terms in the House of Representatives, helping to formulate the Securities Act, the Motor Carrier Act, the Stock Exchange Act, and other legislation dealing with railroads, aviation, commodity, exchange, public utilities, and the Panama Canal. Pettengill was designated “friend of the people” by Life and TIME magazines upon his 1939 retirement from the House. He then became spokesman for the Committee for Constitutional Government, worked as a columnist, and author. He published poetry and books, including Jefferson, The Forgotten Man and the national best seller, Smoke Screen.