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Joseph Melville Broughton
North Carolina

Gov. Joseph Melville Broughton

  • January 9, 1941 - January 4, 1945
  • Democratic
  • November 17, 1888
  • March 6, 1949
  • North Carolina
  • Wake Forest College
  • Married Alice Harper Wilson; four children
  • Senator


JOSEPH M. BROUGHTON, the sixtieth governor of North Carolina, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on November 17, 1888. His education was attained at the Hugh Morson Academy, at Wake Forest College, where he graduated in 1910, and at Harvard University, where he earned a law degree in 1913. Before establishing his legal career, Broughton worked as a high school principal and was a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal. He first entered politics in 1927, serving as a member of the North Carolina State Senate, a position he held two years. He also served as a presidential elector at large in 1936. Broughton next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1940 general election. During his tenure, educational improvements were sanctioned; the good health program was initiated; a teachers’ and state employees’ retirement system was created; and public library funds were increased. After leaving the governorship, Broughton won election to the U.S. Senate, an office he held from 1948 until his death on March 6, 1949. Governor Joseph M. Broughton was buried in the Montlawn Memorial Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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