Trow
(1929-2023)
  • Oregon State Senator, 1975-1995.

About Sen. Trow

Clifford “Cliff” Trow grew up in Kansas, and pursued a career as a high school social studies teacher after graduating college. Once he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Colorado, he moved directly to Oregon to a history faculty position at Oregon State University (O.S.U.). He loved history and taught the subject at O.S.U. for thirty-one years, from 1965-1996.

Active in the Democratic Party politics from his time in Colorado, Trow ran for the Oregon Senate in 1970. He lost the race, and ran again in 1974. Impressed by the iconic Oregon politician Wayne Morse, Trow adopted his views on working for the public interest and served in the Oregon Senate. From 1975-2003, he represented District 18. He merged his two interests, history and education, into his legislative career. He served on both the Education and Ways and Means committees.

During his interview, Trow discussed the negative effects that Measure 5 had on Oregon school funding. He discussed as well the decision Oregon’s public universities have made to end state governance over higher education. In addition to his professional work, he was immersed in other civic and cultural organizations for many years. He was quick to note that his professional and volunteer engagement was always done in partnership with his wife Jo Anne.

Having served in the legislature for decades, Trow shared his insights on the thorny topic of partisanship in the legislature. He discussed how to overcome that barrier. Once retired, he continued his work in education and history. He served with the Lifelong Learning Association, the Corvallis Benton Country Library and the Benton County Historical Society.

– Interview recorded December 20, 2010