LEE EMERSON was born in Hardwick, Vermont. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1921 and from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC in 1926, after which he opened a law office in Barton, Vermont. He was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1939 to 1941, serving as Speaker in 1941. He went on to become a state senator in 1943 and was Lieutenant Governor from 1945 to 1947. Elected governor three years later, he recommended that Vermont citizens serving in the Korean conflict be paid a bonus. He supported studies of the feasibility of building a natural gas pipeline for Vermont and of possible racial discrimination in the state. Also during his administration, legislation known as the Forest Act was passed, providing assistance for municipalities to establish forests. After leaving office, Emerson returned to his law practice in Barton. He went on to make unsuccessful bids for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.