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Charles Poletti
New York

Gov. Charles Poletti

  • December 3, 1942 - January 1, 1943
  • Democratic
  • July 2, 1903
  • August 8, 2002
  • Vermont
  • Harvard University, University of Rome, University of Madrid
  • Married twice--Jean Knox Ellis, Elizabeth Munn Vanderloo; three children
  • Succeeded


CHARLES POLETTI, the fiftieth governor of New York, was born in Barre, Vermont on July 2, 1903. His education was attained at Harvard University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1924, and a law degree in 1928. He later went on to study abroad at the University of Rome, as well as at the University of Madrid. He established a successful legal career, serving as the attorney for the St. Lawrence Power Development Committee. He also served as counsel to Governor Herbert Lehman; and was a New York State Supreme Court justice from 1937 to 1938. Poletti first entered politics as the lieutenant governor of New York, a position he held from 1939 to 1942. On December 3, 1942 Governor Herbert Lehman resigned from office, and Poletti, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until January 1, 1943. During his tenure, legislation was promoted that improved the state social programs. After leaving the governorship, Poletti served as special assistant to the secretary of war, a post he held from January to March 1943. He also served as a U.S. Army civil affairs officer in Italy from 1943 to 1945; and was the vice president for international relations for the New York World’s Fair from 1960 to 1965. Governor Charles Poletti passed away on August 8, 2002, and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Elizabethtown, New York.


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.

Columbia University

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