BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL
Northern Cheyenne

2021 – Government

Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Northern Cheyenne, became the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate in more than 60 years. Campbell served 22 years in public office, beginning his political career in 1982 as a state legislator in Colorado. In 1987 he moved to the U.S. House of Representatives and in 1992 was elected to two terms in the Senate. He served as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and the Indian Affairs Committee. He also chaired the Helsinki Commission and was the first Native American ever to chair the Indian Affairs Committee. Campbell was one of 44 Northern Cheyenne chiefs and was a Korean War veteran, serving in the Air Force. He was a renowned, award-winning artist and accomplished athlete, serving as captain of the U.S. judo team in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.