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Edwin Leard Mechem
New Mexico

Gov. Edwin Leard Mechem

  • January 1, 1951 - January 1, 1955
    January 1, 1957 - January 1, 1959
    January 1, 1961 - November 30, 1962
  • Republican
  • July 2, 1912
  • November 27, 2002
  • New Mexico
  • New Mexico State University, University of Arkansas
  • Married Dorothy Ellen; four children
  • Resigned
  • Senator


EDWIN L. MECHEM, a four-term governor of New Mexico, was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 2, 1912. His education was attained at New Mexico State University, and at the University of Arkansas, where he earned an LL.B. degree in 1939. Along with his legal career, he worked as a land surveyor for the U.S. Reclamation Service, as well as serving as an agent for Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mechem first entered politics in 1947, serving as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, a position he held two years. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 7, 1950. He won reelection in 1952, 1956, and 1960. During his tenure, the Democratic controlled legislature hampered his efforts in establishing Republican oriented initiatives. Mechem resigned from his last gubernatorial term on November 30, 1962. He then secured an appointment to serve in the U.S. Senate, a position he held until November 3, 1964. From 1970 to 2002 he served as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Governor Edwin L. Mechem passed away on November 27, 2002 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Federal Judicial Center

Governor Edwin Mechem Papers, 1st and 2nd Terms, 1951-1954 (official papers)

* Governor Edwin Mechem Papers, 3rd Term, 1951-1954 (official papers)

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.

* Finding aid available at New Mexico Commission of Public Records.

For more information please contact the New Mexico State Archives at 505-476-7948 or

Relation to Another Governor
  • Uncle of New Mexico  Governor Merritt Cramer Mechem

Recent New Mexico Governors