WALTER S. GOODLAND was born in Sharon, Wisconsin. The family moved to Chicago, and then to Appleton, Wisconsin, where Goodland attended Lawrence College. He taught school and studied law in his father's law office, after which he moved to Wakefield, Michigan to establish his own practice. He then went into the newspaper business, ultimately becoming editor and publisher-and later owner-of the Racine Times. He was president of the Racine Water Commission for twelve years and Racine Mayor for one four-year term. He was twice elected to the State Senate from Racine County. He was elected Lieutenant Governor when Julius Heil was elected Governor, and was reelected in 1940 and 1942. When Governor-elect Orland Loomis died before he could be sworn in, the State Supreme Court declared Goodland Acting Governor. In 1944, he secured the Republican nomination for governor in his own right and went on to win the general election. He was reelected in 1946, but died shortly after beginning his third term, and was buried in Racine.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 40. New York: James T. White & Company.