JOHN JOSEPH HICKEY was born in Rawlins, Wyoming. He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with an LL.B. degree in 1934 and an LL.D. degree in 1959. He established a law practice in Rawlins and served as city treasurer from 1935 to 1940. When World War II broke out he enlisted in the Army, rising to the rank of Captain. President Harry Truman appointed him U.S. Attorney for Wyoming In 1949, a post from which he resigned in 1952. He served as Wyoming State Chairman of the Democratic Party in 1954. Four years later, he defeated incumbent governor Milward Simpson. However, he had served only two years as governor when he resigned in order to be appointed to the U.S. Senate upon the death of Edwin Keith Thomas. His appointer, Secretary of State Jack R. Gage, succeeded him as governor. Hickey ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1962 and returned to the practice of law in Cheyenne. He was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1966, and died four years later, at the age of fifty-nine.
The Council of State Governments: The Governors of the American States, Commonwealths, and Territories 1900-1980(1980).
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Wyoming State Archives