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George Howard Earle

Gov. George Howard Earle

  • January 15, 1935 - January 17, 1939
  • Democratic
  • December 5, 1890
  • December 30, 1974
  • Pennsylvania
  • Harvard University, Temple University, Waynesburg College
  • Married twice--Huberta F. Potter, four children; Jacqueline Sacre
  • Ambassador
  • Army, Navy
  • Navy Cross for bravery


Born in Devon, Pennsylvania, GEORGE HOWARD EARLE attended Harvard University from 1909 to 1911. He served in the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry in 1916 and on the Mexican Border as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1917. He also commanded a submarine chaser during World War I, earning a Navy Cross for bravery, and he served in the Navy once again during World War II. He attended Harvard University prior to WWI and later earned LL.B., LL.D., and LL.H. degrees. Earle worked for the Pennsylvania Sugar Company and later founded the Flamingo Sugar Mills in Philadelphia. In 1933 he was appointed U.S. Minister to the Republic of Austria but resigned one year later to run for governor. During his administration, which was known as Pennsylvania’s Little New Deal, legislation was passed assessing the state’s first gasoline and cigarette taxes, permitting movies to be shown on Sundays, clearing the way for construction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and eliminating coal and iron police in company mining towns. In addition, the state’s first civil rights bill was passed during his tenure as governor. Earle was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1938 but won appointment as U.S. Minister to Bulgaria in 1940, Associate Naval Attaché to Turkey in 1943, and Assistant Governor of Samoa in 1945. He later resumed his business interests.


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

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission


State Archives Holdings: MG-342 George Howard Earle Papers

Recent Pennsylvania Governors