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Horace Augustus Hildreth

Gov. Horace Augustus Hildreth

  • January 3, 1945 - January 5, 1949
  • Republican
  • December 2, 1902
  • June 2, 1988
  • Maine
  • Bowdoin College, Harvard University
  • Married Katherine Wing; three children
  • NGA Chair


HORACE A. HILDRETH, the fifty-ninth governor of Maine, was born in Gardiner, Maine on December 2, 1902. His education was attained at Bowdoin College, where he graduated in 1925, and at Harvard University, where he earned his LL.B. degree in 1928. After establishing a successful legal career in Boston, Hildreth returned home to Maine and entered into a political career. He served as a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 1940 to 1942 and was a member of the Maine State Senate from 1942 to 1944, serving the last year as senate president. Hildreth won the 1944 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win the general election by a popular vote. He was reelected to a second term in 1946. During his tenure, the University of Maine was granted funding for improvements, education for veterans was supported, the state’s peat industry was promoted, the state’s bonded debt was drastically reduced, and European war-torn farmers were urged to emigrate to Maine. Also, Hildreth presided over the 1947 New England Governors Council; he chaired the 1947 and 1948 National Governors Conference and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1948. After his gubernatorial term, he served as the president of Bucknell University from 1949 to 1967, and he served as the ambassador to Pakistan from 1953 to 1957. Ten years later, Hildreth bought a controlling portion of a Portland radio station, staying active in its operations until 1974. Governor Horace A. Hildreth passed away on June 2, 1988.


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.

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