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Charles L. Terry

Gov. Charles L. Terry

  • January 19, 1965 - January 21, 1969
  • Democrat
  • September 17, 1900
  • February 6, 1970
  • Delaware
  • Wesley College, University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University
  • Married Jessica Irby; one child


CHARLES L. TERRY JR. was born September 19, 1900, in Camden, Delaware. Terry received an LL.B. from Washington and Lee University in 1923. He served as secretary of state of Delaware, 1937-1938; superior court judge, 1938-1957; president judge of the Superior Court, 1957-1962; associate justice, state supreme court, 1962-1963; and chief justice, 1963-1964. He was elected governor of Delware in 1964 and served one term. Terry was chief of state during one of the most turbulent times in American history. The civil rights movement, the Vietnam conflict and social unrest were all issues Terry had to confront. The administration reached its dramatic summit following the assassination of Martin Luther King and the subsequent riots in Wilmington. He was the first Delware governor to use “Woodburn” after the purchase by the state. During his tenure he chaired the Education Commission of the States (1966-1967). He passed away on February 6, 1970, and he is interred at Christ Church Cemetery, Dover, Delaware.


Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors' Conference, 1968.

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