Mr. W. Marcus Nye

Mr. W. Marcus Nye

Lawrence Curtis “Larry” Jackson

Lawrence Curtis “Larry” Jackson was born on June 2, 1931 in Nampa, Idaho. He was the oldest son of Lawrence L. Jackson and Aldythe L. Curtis Jackson. Larry attended elementary school in Nampa; North Junior High School in Boise; and Boise High School, where he graduated in 1949. He graduated from Boise Junior College and attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

One of Idaho’s premier athletes, Larry was an All Star, All State and All American in American Legion, at Boise High School, and at Boise Junior College. In 1950, Larry played tailback at Boise Junior College and lead an exceptional football team, coached by Lyle Smith to the Little Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California. An outstanding baseball player, Larry pitched in Pocatello; Fresno, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and in Rochester, New York, before signing a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1951. While pitching for the Fresno Bees in 1952, he led all of organized baseball by posting a brilliant 28-4 win-loss record and by striking out 351 batters in 300 innings.

In 1953 he married Dinah, who was from Boise, and they had two daughters, Becky and Laurel, and two sons, Curt and Craig.

In the major leagues Larry pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies before retiring at the end of the 1968 season. His performance in baseball was a model of excellence and consistency. Larry Jackson’s lifetime baseball record is 194 wins and 183 losses. He appeared in 558 games, started 429 of them, and completed 149. In 3,262 innings he struck out 1,709, walked 824, and gave up 3,206 hits, while posting an earned run average of 3.40. He recorded 37 shutouts. He shares the National League record for pitchers who led the league for the most years—four—in fielding chances. In 1964 he also set a major league mark for the most errorless chances by a pitcher in one season.

When Larry retired from baseball in 1968, he returned to Idaho to pursue a career in business and politics. He worked as a governmental relations administrator for the Boise Cascade Corporation until 1973, when he entered the life and health insurance business. He was elected and served four terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, and was a gubernatorial candidate in the 1978 Republican primary. During his terms in the House, he served as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Larry was proud of his service as a Representative, and was quoted as modestly saying, “I was able to do some right things there.”

In 1989, Larry was appointed by Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus, a Democrat, to be one of the three commissioners on the Idaho Industrial Commission. With his fellow commissioners, he administered and adjudicated the Workman’s Compensation laws for the State of Idaho. Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890, and in anticipation of its one hundredth birthday in 1990, Larry Jackson was appointed to be a member of the Idaho Centennial Commission, where he served with distinction. Larry Jackson died in Boise on August 38, 1990, while still a member of this Commission.

When the Idaho Centennial celebration work was completed in July of 1991, one of the Commission’s last actions was to provide Larry Jackson scholarship endowments from the Idaho Centennial Foundation in equal amounts to Idaho’s three major state universities. The Jackson family has asked that the Foundation’s gift to Idaho State University be used to provide an annual academic scholarship for an Idaho resident attending ISU.

Larry Jackson was a talented, successful man who traveled the world, was acquainted with presidents, governors, movie stars and Hall of Fame athletes. But, above all, his personal commitment was to his family and his beloved Idaho. He was called “Grandpa” by ten grandchildren. He was happiest in Idaho surrounded by his friends and family and living at his home on the Middle Fork of the Payette River. Through these scholarships, uncounted generations of Idaho students will share in the legacy of one of Idaho’s favorite sons, Larry Jackson.