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Governor Walter Evans Edge

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Office Dates:  Jan 15, 1917 - May 16, 1919 , Jan 18, 1944 - Jan 21, 1947


Born:  Nov 20, 1873

Passed:  Oct 29, 1956

Birth State:  Pennsylvania

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married twice--Lady Lee Phillips, Camilla Loyal Ashe Sewall; four children

National Office(s) Served:  Senator

Military Service:  National Guard

Walter E. Edge, the forty-seventh and sixtieth governor to serve New Jersey, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 20, 1873. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of Pleasantville, New Jersey, where his family moved to in 1877. In 1890 he started working in an entry-level job at an Atlantic City printing office, and eventually became the owner and publisher of a successful newspaper. During the Spanish-American War, he served as a second lieutenant in Company F, Fourth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. He also served in the New Jersey National Guard as captain and later was named chief of the Ordinance Department. Edge first entered politics as journal clerk of the New Jersey State Senate, a position he held from 1897 to 1899. He also served as secretary of the New Jersey State Senate from 1901 to 1904; was a member of the New Jersey House of Representatives in 1910; and served as a member of the New Jersey State Senate from 1911 to 1916, as well as serving as senate president in 1915. Edge next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 7, 1916. During his tenure, the Hudson River vehicular tunnel was initiated; a corrupt practices act was sanctioned; and war programs were implemented. Edge resigned from office on May 16, 1919, to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, an office he held ten years. He also served as the ambassador to France from 1929 to 1933. Edge won reelection to his second gubernatorial term on November 2, 1943. During his final term, the state civil service was restructured; an anti-discrimination agency was incorporated into the department of education; and a department of economic development was created. After completing his term, Edge retired from politics, and returned to his publishing interests. Governor Walter E. Edge passed away on October 29, 1956, and was buried in the Northwood Cemetery in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

New Jersey State Library (pdf)

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress