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Governor David Lyle Boren, 1975-1979

by Leonard D. McMurry

Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Legislature
Dimensions: 25 height
Dedicated 1982

Governor David Lyle Boren, 1975-1979 by Leonard D. McMurry

The Artwork

David Lyle Boren was born in Washington D.C. on April 21, 1941 and is the son of Lyle H. and Christine McKown Boren. He graduated from Yale University Summa Cum Laude, receiving a B.A. degree in 1963, and graduated with honors with a M.A. degree from Oxford University, England in 1965. In 1968, he earned his J.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma where he was class president of the College of Law and was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. In addition to his profession as an attorney, he was a Chairman of the Division of Social Sciences and professor of political science at Oklahoma Baptist University and also Company Commander of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1967 and served until his election as Governor in November, 1974. He was inaugurated January 13, 1975, and made his home in Seminole before moving into the Governor's mansion. He is the father of two children, Carrie Christine and David Daniel. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, and served successive terms until he became president of the University of Oklahoma in Norman in November 1994.

The Artist

Known as Oklahoma’s own “Michelangelo”, Leonard McMurry was born to a family of prominent cotton farmers in the Texas panhandle. McMurry moved to Oklahoma in 1955 and then lived in Stilwell and Oklahoma City. Under the teachings of sculptors Carl Mose and Ivan Mestrovic, McMurry perfected his craft. His magnificent sculptures of Oklahoma icons can be seen across the state including the ‘89er statue on Couch Drive in Oklahoma City and the Praying Hands that grace the lawns of Oral Roberts University.

In accordance with Oklahoma’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1982, Leonard McMurry was commissioned to sculpt busts of 21 past Oklahoma Governors. The Hall of Governors exudes Oklahoman’s pride in her past legislative guardians. Regarding his works, McMurry states, “Each piece must have a soul, a living quality that’s far more important than just physical representation. A piece has to have guts: the strength, power, and dignity, that makes it a monument.” McMurry has accomplished that very feat within the grandiose Hall of Governors in which visitors may come face to face with naturalistic representation of Oklahoma leaders.