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Charles Edison
New Jersey

Gov. Charles Edison

  • January 21, 1941 - January 18, 1944
  • Democratic
  • August 3, 1890
  • July 31, 1969
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Married Carolyn Hawkins


Charles Edison was born in West Orange, New Jersey on August 3, 1890. His education was attained at Carteret Academy, at Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an E.E. degree in 1913. He went to work in his family’s business, the Thomas A. Edison, Inc., and eventually was named the company’s president in 1927. Edison first entered public service as the NRA Compliance Director, as well as serving as the State Director of the National Emergency Council. He also served as the assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1937; and served as Secretary of the Navy from 1939 to 1940. Edison next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 5, 1940. During his tenure, a mediation board was formed; funds were granted for improving the New Jersey State Guard; discrimination laws were improved; and revisions to the state constitution were lobbied for. After completing his term, Edison retired from political life. From 1944 to 1947 he served as chairman of the board of trustees of Town Hall, Inc., as well as establishing a charitable foundation, the Charles Edison Fund. Governor Charles Edison passed away on July 31, 1969, and was buried in the Rosedale Cemetery in Orange New Jersey.


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.

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