Autry Museum of the American West

Shooting From the Lip


A Conversation With Senator Alan Simpson and Biographer Donald Hardy


Date / Time:

Monday, Feb 27, 2012, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


The Autry in Griffith Park

Appropriate For:



Free admission; reservations recommended

Former Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyoming), a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, and Donald Hardy, his former chief of staff and biographer, talk about Shooting From the Lip: The Life of Senator Alan Simpson (2011). The book is an unvarnished look at the life and career of an uncompromising maverick politician who won the praise and collaboration of colleagues from both sides of the aisle during his almost 20 years (1979–1997) in public life.

"Al Simpson was a Senator with the right touch," President George H. W. Bush has said. "Because of his integrity and his humor, he had many friends in the United States Senate—deservedly so." In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Simpson to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which made wide-ranging recommendations to Congress on cutting the federal budget deficit.

Simpson served during a tumultuous period in American politics: he was majority whip and played key roles during the Iran-Contra affair and the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He was known for his bipartisanship and for holding positions on social issues that might be considered controversial by some fellow Republicans. In 2001 Simpson was one of the authors of the Cody Statement, a document meant as a guiding principle for the Republican party that supports equal rights and status for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.

"With Out West, our good friends at the Autry continue to send a clear message that the American West always remembers the contributions made by the gay and lesbian community to our Western history and heritage," Simpson has said. "This important program series continues a vital conversation we began several years ago in a document I co-authored titled the Cody Statement."

During the writing of the book, Hardy had full access to Simpson's 19-volume diary and papers, and Simpson gave him full editorial control over the book's narrative. The Autry appearance will be the first Los Angeles stop on Simpson and Hardy's book tour.

The Autry galleries will open at 6:00 p.m., and a light dinner will be available for purchase prior to the talk. Copies of the book will be for sale, and a book signing will follow.


The Out West at the Autry series is sponsored by Tom Gregory, HBO, the David Bohnett Foundation, the Gill Foundation, and the Gay and Lesbian Rodeo Heritage Foundation.

4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462 Phone: 323.667.2000

© 2016 Autry Museum of the American West. All rights reserved.