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Ben Reifel

American politician

Died when: 83 years 105 days (999 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


Ben Reifel

Benjamin Reifel, also known as Lone Feather (September 19, 1906 – January 2, 1990) was a Lakota Sioux public administrator and politician.He had a career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, retiring as area administrator.

He ran for the US Congress from the East River region of South Dakota, and was elected as the first Lakota to serve in the House of Representatives.

He served five terms as a Republican United States Congressman from the (now obsolete) First District.Born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, Reifel graduated from South Dakota State University.

During World War II he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.He worked for the Department of the Interior beginning in 1933, retiring as the Aberdeen, South Dakota area administrator of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in March 1960.

Awarded a mid-career fellowship in public administration to Harvard University for a master's degree, he went on to earn his PhD in 1952.

Elected to the Eighty-seventh Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1971), Reifel chose not to run in 1970.

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