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Ben Reifel: US Congressman

Ben Reifel served for five terms as Representative from South Dakota's First Congressional District. He was elected by a landslide of votes in 1960 and continued to be politically popular throughout his career. He was the first person of Sioux ancestry to serve in Congress and worked with notable political figures such as Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gerald R. Ford, who fully supported him during his time in Congress. Because of his dedication to American Indian issues, he was awarded several awards throughout his career. 

Ben Reifel at Hobo Day, 1931


Representative Ben Reifel, his wife, Alice Reifel, his daughter, Loyce, and his three granddaughters.

Family Life

Ben Reifel in his Bureau of Indian Affairs office within the Pine Ridge Reservation, 1954

Early Career

Ben Reifel reading an Aberdeen American News newspaper heading declaring him as the winner of the 1960 Republican primary

Congressional Career

Indian Council Fire Achievement Award Ceremony in 1971

Career of Service

Ben Reifel

Life of Ben Reifel