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Hugh Lawson White

Gov. Hugh Lawson White

  • January 26, 1936 - January 16, 1940
  • Democratic
  • August 19, 1881
  • September 20, 1965
  • Mississippi
  • Soule's Business College, University of Mississippi
  • Married Judith Sugg


HUGH L. WHITE, the forty-fifth and fiftieth governor to serve Mississippi, was born in McComb, Mississippi on August 19, 1881. His education was attained at Soule’s Business College, at St. Thomas’ Hall, where he graduated in 1898, and at the University of Mississippi. He established a successful business career, and eventually became the owner of the J.J. White Lumber Company. White first entered politics as the mayor of Columbia, a position he held from 1926 to 1936. He next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote in November 1935. He was sworn into office on January 26, 1936. During his tenure, a 1938 homestead exemption act was sanctioned; the state’s highway system was advanced; and the Balance Agriculture and Industry Program was initiated. After completing his term, White left office on January 16, 1940. Three years later, he was elected to the Mississippi Legislature, a position he held until 1948. White won reelection to the governor’s office in 1951 and was sworn into office on January 20, 1952. During his final term, a school consolidation program was launched; a farm loan bill was endorsed; and public school segregation was supported. After leaving office on January 17, 1956, White retired from political life. Governor Hugh L. White passed away on September 19, 1965, and was buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in McComb, Mississippi.


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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