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Constitution Award

2004 Honoree

The Honorable Charles R. FordThe Honorable Charles R. Ford
Oklahoma State Senate

Charles R. Ford, a native Tulsan, attended Oklahoma A&M College, now known as Oklahoma State University. Since 1958, he has owned and operated the Charles R. Ford Co., a real estate investment company in Tulsa.

He was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1966 and served for 14 years. In 1981, he was elected to the Oklahoma Senate and retired at the end of the last session. He held numerous leadership positions during his 38 years in the Legislature. He is the second lawmaker to hold the position of Minority Leader in both houses. He is second in total legislative experience since statehood – one half of his lifetime. He has been author of many key legislative proposals. 

He co-authored legislation creating Tulsa Junior College in 1968 and the University of Oklahoma Medical School in Tulsa in the early 1970s. In 1977, he authored a bill allowing for concurrent enrollment of high school students in college. And in 1980, he authored legislation to create the University Center at Tulsa.

In 1998, Ford continued his support of higher education as the author of Senate Bill 1426, which created branches of OSU in Tulsa and Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, and gave RSU a new mission to seek accreditation as a four-year university.