Frank Barnett Article

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Frank Barnett
49th Governor of American Samoa
In office
October 1, 1976 (1976-10-01) – May 27, 1977 (1977-05-27)
Preceded by Earl B. Ruth
Succeeded by Hyrum Rex Lee
Personal details
BornFrank Elliott Barnett [1]
(1933-07-20)July 20, 1933
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
DiedJuly 15, 2016(2016-07-15) (aged 82)
Political party Republican

Frank Elliott Barnett (July 20, 1933 – July 15, 2016) was the 49th Governor of American Samoa from October 1, 1976 to May 27, 1977. [2] [3] Before becoming governor, he was a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a Tennessee attorney. [4] He served as the first Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa for two years prior to his governorship. [4] While Governor, a number of Samoans signed a petition accusing him of abusing local officials; others signed a counter-petition supporting him, and the charges were eventually dropped. This arose from his firing of Mere Betham, a native who had been serving as Samoan Director of Education, an action he defended as necessary to improve education on the island, but others decried as racist; Barnett reinstated Betham one week after dismissing her. [5]

Barnett graduated from Knoxville High School in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1950. He served in the United States Marine Corps. Barnett went to University of Tennessee and later received his law degree in 1959 from University of Tennessee College of Law. He practiced law in Knoxville, Tennessee and was involved with the Republican Party. [6] [7]


  1. ^ Inc Marquis Who's Who (1971). Who's who in the South and Southwest: 1971-1972. 12. Marquis Who's Who, Inc. ISBN  9780837908120. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  2. ^ National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (U.S.); Council of State Governments; National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (U.S.). Meeting (1976). The National Conference of Lieutenant Governors ... Biographical Sketches and Portraits. The Conference. ISSN  1046-1841. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  3. ^ Sorensen, Stan; Joseph Theroux (2007). "The Samoan Historical Calendar, 1606-2007" (PDF). Government of American Samoa. p. 129. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  4. ^ a b Associated Press (8 January 1977). "People in the News". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. p. 27. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  5. ^ Binder, David (14 December 1976). "Samoans in Debate as Home Rule Nears". The New York Times. New York City. The New York Times Company.
  6. ^ "Frank Barnett, former governor of American Samoa, dies". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  7. ^ Ashe, Victor (April 1, 2014). "When Frank Barnett met the queen". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
Government offices
Preceded by
Earl B. Ruth
Governor of American Samoa
Succeeded by
Hyrum Rex Lee