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Clayton Douglass Buck

Gov. Clayton Douglass Buck

  • January 15, 1929 - January 19, 1937
  • Republican
  • March 21, 1890
  • January 27, 1965
  • Delaware
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Married Alice du Pont; two children
  • Senator
  • Army


CLAYTON DOUGLASS BUCK SR. was the first Delaware governor to be reelected to a second term under the new constitution. He was born at Buena Vista, the family estate near New Castle, Delaware, on March 21, 1890. He was educated at the Wilmington Military Academy, the Friends School, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied engineering. In 1916 he became chief engineer of the New York State Highway Department. He also served as chief engineer of the Delaware State Highway Department from 1922 to 1929. During World War I he served as a private in the U.S. Army. Buck entered politics as the 1928 Republican gubernatorial nominee, and was elected Delaware’s 50th Governor. He was reelected to a second term in 1932. During his tenure, the 21st Amendment was sanctioned, which abolished prohibition. The Depression of the 1930s also greatly impacted his administration, making jobs scarce, and funding almost nonexistent for state programs. Also, the first woman was elected to the General Assembly, and for the first time the new legislative hall was used in January 1933. Buck’s term ended on January 19, 1937, and he continued to stay active in public service. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1943 to 1949, and was the state tax commissioner from 1953 to 1957. Governor Clayton D. Buck Sr. died on January 27, 1965, and he is buried at the Immanuel Churchyard in New Castle, Delaware.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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