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Governor Lee Maurice Russell

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Office Dates:  Jan 20, 1920 - Jan 18, 1924

Born:  Nov 16, 1875

Passed:  May 05, 1943

Birth State:  Mississippi

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married Ethel May Day; one child

School(s):  Toccopala College, University of Mississippi

LEE M. RUSSELL, the fortieth governor of Mississippi, was born in Lafayette County, Mississippi on November 16, 1875. His education was attained at Toccopala College, where he graduated in 1897, and at the University of Mississippi, where he earned a Ph.B. in 1901degree and a LL.B. degree in 1903. After establishing his legal career in Oxford, Mississippi, Russell entered into a politics. He served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1908 to 1912, was a member of the Mississippi State Senate from 1912 to 1916, and served as the lieutenant governor of Mississippi from 1916 to 1920. Russell next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 4, 1919. He was sworn into office on January 20, 1920. During his tenure, a junior college system was initiated; a reforestation policy was endorsed; the Mississippi school and colony for the mentally disabled was founded; funding for the upkeep and construction of public buildings was secured; a state financial plan was supported; and a state bond commission was established. Also, breach of promise and seduction charges were brought against Governor Russell in 1922; however, he was acquitted of all charges. After completing his term, Russell left office on January 18, 1924 and retired from political life. Governor Lee M. Russell passed away on May 5, 1943, and was buried in the Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson, Mississippi.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Mississippi Historical Society

The Political Graveyard