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James Coughlin Shannon

Gov. James Coughlin Shannon

  • March 7, 1948 - January 5, 1949
  • Republican
  • July 21, 1896
  • March 6, 1980
  • Connecticut
  • Georgetown University, Yale University Law School
  • Married Helen M. McMurray; three children
  • Succeeded
  • Navy


JAMES COUGHLIN SHANNON was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on July 21, 1896. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1918, and earned a LL.B. degree from Yale Law School in 1921. During World War I, Shannon served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy Air Force. Shannon entered public service in 1923, as Bridgeport’s prosecuting attorney, a position he held for nine years. He served on the bench of the Bridgeport City and Juvenile Court from 1931 to 1935, was the attorney for the Connecticut Federation of Labor from 1939 to 1948, and was lieutenant governor of Connecticut from 1947 to 1948. On March 7, 1948, Governor James L. McConaughy died in office and Shannon, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, legislation was enacted that raised old-age pension benefits. Shannon also advocated for housing reform measures and was successful in securing the appropriate legislation. Shannon ran unsuccessfully in the 1949 gubernatorial election, and left office on January 5, 1949. He served on the bench of the Connecticut Superior Court from 1953 to 1965, and was an associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1965 to 1966. Governor James C. Shannon died on March 6, 1980, and is buried at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Fairfield, Connecticut.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Political Graveyard

Who Was Who in America, 1951-1960, Vol.3, Chicago, Il.; A.N. Marquis Company, 1960.

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