On Feb. 7th, 2014 former Arizona state senator and Navajo Code Talker Arthur J Hubbard passed away at the age of 102, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation and Tohono O’odham. Born January 23rd, 1912 (before Arizona was a state) on the Navajo reservation, Hubbard grew up a man of meager means, but he persevered for better in every aspect of his life. This led to his attending the University of Arizona, before it was ever common for a Native American, and in 1939 he voluntarily enlisted into the Marines.
It was during this time that he helped develop and became an instructor for the “Code Talkers.” This crucial way to transmit sensitive information over open air waves helped the United States maintain intelligence superiority over the Japanese at many critical battles. Upon his return, after the war, he was appointed as the Director of Indian Development District of Arizona and finally, in 1972 he became the first Native American to hold a senate seat in Arizona’s history, serving until 1984.
During his time as state senator, he advocated for the rights of the Native American populace, and true, he was a democrat – but we can’t all be perfect. However, in a few cases he fought against what he saw as state government encroaching on the right for the Navajo Nation to rule itself (documents here and here).
Hats off to Arthur J Hubbard – for fighting for our freedom when our country needed you the most and for your public service to your home who you felt were disadvantaged by strong government intervention.
I might not have always agreed with you, Mr. Hubbard, had we been at a political debate, but it would have been an honor to have had the chance. You’re one democrat who has earned my respect, that’s for sure.
Rest in peace, brave soldier.