ROBERT AUGUSTINE HURLEY, Connecticut's first Roman Catholic governor, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on August 25, 1895. He was educated in Connecticut's public school system and Lehigh University. From 1917 to 1919, Hurley served on a submarine fleet and on the battleship Pennsylvania, as a radio electrician for the U.S. Navy. In 1935, Hurley was appointed by Governor Wilbur Cross to the directorship of the Works Projects Administration, and then went on to become Public Works Commissioner, supervising a multimillion-dollar construction program, and serving from 1937 to 1940. Hurley won the 1940 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Connecticut's 56th governor. During his tenure, he supported the war effort, making numerous appointments to the State's Defense Council, and intensifying his efforts after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hurley also advocated for instituting a rural electrification program, establishing a state labor relations board, changing unemployment and workmen's compensation laws, and granting state aid to dependent children. Hurley ran unsuccessfully for reelection and left office on January 6, 1943. He served as a member of the State Surplus Property Board from 1944 to 1945, and then retired from public service. Governor Robert A. Hurley died on May 3, 1968, and is buried at the Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
University of Connecticut