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James Michael Curley

Gov. James Michael Curley

  • January 3, 1935 - January 7, 1937
  • Democratic
  • November 20, 1874
  • November 12, 1958
  • Massachusetts
  • Married twice--Mary Herlihy, Gertrude Denison Casey; seven children
  • Representative


JAMES M. CURLEY, the fifty-fifth governor of Massachusetts, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 20, 1874. His education was limited and attained in the public schools of his native state. After working in the insurance and real estate industries, Curley entered into a political career. He served as a member of the Boston Common Council from 1900 to 1901, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1914, and was a three-term mayor of Boston, serving from 1914 to 1918, 1922 to 1926 and 1930 to 1934. Curley won election to the Massachusetts governorship in 1934, and was sworn into office on January 3, 1935. During his tenure, he made an effort to ease the damaging effects that had resulted from the Great Depression. Bank and utility rates were regulated; old age pension laws were advanced; public work projects were improved; and forest conservation was promoted. After completing his term, Curley left office on January 7, 1937. He continued to stay politically active, serving again in Congress from 1943 to 1947. He also was reelected mayor of Boston, serving from 1946 to 1950. In 1947 Curley was found guilty of mail fraud and served five months in prison. Governor James M. Curley passed away on November 12, 1958, and was buried in the Old Calvary Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts.


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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