United States Senator
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2007
January 25, 1935 (1935-01-25)
University of Missouri
United States Marine Corps
Years of service
Conrad Ray Burns (born January 25, 1935) is a former
United States Senator from Montana. He was only the
second Republican to represent Montana in the Senate
since the passage in 1913 of the Seventeenth Amend-
ment to the Constitution and is the longest-serving Re-
publican senator in Montana history.
While in the Senate, Burns sat on the Senate Appro-
priations Committee and was the chairman of its Sub-
committee on the Interior. He was also chairman of the
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s
Burns served from January 1989 to January 2007.
Early life and career
Burns was born on a farm near Gallatin, Missouri, to
Russell and Mary Frances (Knight) Burns. He graduated
from Gallatin High School in 1952 and then enrolled in
the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.
He was also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fratern-
ity. Two years later Burns left without graduating, and
enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1955. He served in Japan
and Korea as a small-arms instructor.
After his military service in 1957, Burns began work-
ing for Trans World Airlines and Ozark Air Lines. In 1962,
he traveled the state as a field representative for Polled
Hereford World magazine in Billings, Montana. He mar-
ried Phyllis Jean Kuhlmann in 1967; they have two chil-
dren, Keely and Garrett.
In 1968, he turned down a transfer to Iowa and be-
came a cattle auctioneer for the Billings Livestock Com-
mission. He became the first manager of the Northern
International Livestock Expo. He also began reporting on