R. GREGG CHERRY, the sixty-first governor of North Carolina, was born in Catawba Junction, South Carolina on October 17, 1891. His education was attained at Gastonia High School, and at Duke University, where he earned both an undergraduate degree and law degree. During World War I, he fought overseas in France, serving as captain of the Gastonia Company A, 115th Machine Gun Battalion. After his military service, he established a career in politics. In his first political campaign, Cherry was elected to serve as mayor of Gastonia, a position he held from 1919 to 1923. He also served as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1931 to 1940; and was speaker of the house in 1940. From 1937 to 1940 he served as chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee; and from 1941 to 1943 he served as a member of the North Carolina State Senate. Cherry next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1944 general election. During his tenure, the state’s road system was advanced; educational funding was increased; teacher and state employee salaries were raised; and the state’s mental hospitals were improved. After completing his term, Cherry retired from politics. He continued to stay active in his legal career, as well as serving as a trustee for the University of North Carolina and Duke University. Governor R. Gregg Cherry passed away on June 25, 1957, and was buried somewhere in Gastonia, North Carolina.
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.
The Political Graveyard