US Congressman, Kansas Governor. A Republican, he was elected to five terms in the US House of Representatives, serving from 1955 to 1965. He declined to seek a sixth term so he could successfully run for the Kansas governorship, and held that office from 1965 to 1967. Avery is probably best remembered as the governor who sanctioned the executions of Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, the murderers of the Clutter family. Born in Wakefield, he graduated from the University of Kansas at Lawrence in 1934 and was a farmer and stockman before entering politics. He was a member of the Kansas State House of Representatives from 1951 to 1955. Defeated for reelection as Governor in 1966, he became president of the Real Petroleum Company.