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John Lewis Bates

Gov. John Lewis Bates

  • January 8, 1903 - January 5, 1905
  • Republican
  • September 18, 1859
  • June 8, 1946
  • Massachusetts
  • Boston University
  • Married Clara Elizabeth Smith; three children


JOHN L. BATES, the forty-third governor of Massachusetts, was born in North Easton, Massachusetts on September 18, 1859. His education was attained at Boston University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1882 and his law degree on 1885. After establishing his legal career in Boston, Bates entered into politics. He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1894 to 1899, was speaker of the house from 1897 to 1899, and served as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 1899 to 1902. Bates secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win election to the governorship on November 4, 1902. He was reelected to a second term in 1903. During his tenure, the appointment of Judge Emmons to the post of Boston police commissioner was highly criticized. Also, Governor Bates dealt with charges that he accepted money from a lobbyist. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Bates, left office on January 5, 1905. He continued to stay politically active, serving as president of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention from 1917 to 1919. Governor John L. Bates passed away on June 8, 1946 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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