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Harry Whinna Nice

Gov. Harry Whinna Nice

  • January 9, 1935 - January 11, 1939
  • Republican
  • December 5, 1877
  • February 25, 1941
  • Virginia
  • Dickinson College; University of Maryland School of Law
  • Married Edna Viola Amos; two children


HARRY W. NICE was born in Washington, D.C. on December 5, 1877. His education was attained at Baltimore City College, at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and at the University of Maryland, where he earned a law degree in 1899. After establishing his legal career in Baltimore, Nice entered into politics. He served as a member of the Baltimore City Council from 1903 to 1905, was the secretary to Baltimore Mayor E. Clay Timanus from 1905 to 1908, and served on the Board of Supervisors of Elections from 1908 to 1912. He also served as an assistant state’s attorney of Baltimore from 1912 to 1919. He briefly served as state’s attorney in 1919, but resigned to challenge Albert Ritchie for the governorship. Following his defeat, he was appointed by the mayor to the Appeals Tax Court in Baltimore. Nice secured the 1934 Republican gubernatorial nomination and went on to win election to the Maryland governorship on November 6, 1934. He was sworn into office on January 9, 1935. During his tenure, a state income tax was instituted and the Executive Mansion was remodeled. Nice gained national attention at the 1936 Republican National Convention when he was mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate. After running unsuccessfully for reelection as governor, Nice left office on January 11, 1939. Two years later, he was defeated in his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate and returned to the pratice of law. Governor Harry W. Nice passed away on February 25, 1941, and was buried at Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.


Eisenberg, Gerson G. Marylanders Who Served the Nation. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives, 1992.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

White, Frank F., Jr. The Governors of Maryland, 1777-1972. Annapolis, MD: Hall of Records Commission, 1970.

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