Daniel I.J. Thornton
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1911
Date of Death: 1976
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Occupation: Rancher, politician
Spouse: Jessie Willock
Political Party: Republican Party
Political Office(s): Governor of Colorado
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Oblique posthumous reference
Date of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Killed in an atomic explosion (World War III)
Political Office(s): Governor of Colorado
Daniel Isaac J. Thornton (January 31, 1911 – January 19, 1976) was an American cattle breeder and Republican politician who served as the 33rd Governor of the State of Colorado from 1951 to 1955. Born in Texas, Thornton began his cattle operation in Arizona. He moved the business to Colorado in 1941. He entered politics in 1948, and was elected to the State Senate. In 1950, Thornton defeated incumbent Democratic Governor Walter Walford Johnson. Thornton was known for his Stetson hat, pipe, and cowboy boots. Among his accomplishments as governor was getting the United States Air Force to establish its academy in Colorado Springs. He was on the short list of candidates Dwight Eisenhower considered as his running mate in 1952 before he settled on Richard Nixon.

Thornton left politics after losing the U.S. Senate election in 1956. The City of Thornton was named in his honor.

Daniel I.J. Thornton in The Hot WarEdit

Governor Daniel I.J. Thornton (1911-1951) was killed when the Soviet Union destroyed Denver with an atomic bomb on March 2, 1951. It fell to the Federal government to call out the National Guard for the state.[1]

Literary commentEdit

Thornton is not named, but the POD would not have affected his election in 1950.


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 170, ebook.
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Walford Johnson
Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
Edwin Carl Johnson
Political offices
(The Hot War)
Preceded by
Walter Walford Johnson
Governor of Colorado
January 9-March 2, 1951
Succeeded by