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Leverett Saltonstall

Gov. Leverett Saltonstall

  • January 5, 1939 - January 3, 1945
  • Republican
  • September 1, 1892
  • June 17, 1979
  • Massachusetts
  • Harvard University, Harvard Law School
  • Married Alice Wesselhoeft; six children
  • NGA Chair
  • Senator
  • Army


LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, the fifty-seventh governor of Massachusetts, was born in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on September 1, 1892. His education was attained at Harvard University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1914 and his law degree in 1917. From 1917 to 1919, he served in World War I as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Saltonstall entered politics in 1920, serving as a member of the Newton Board of Aldermen, a position he held two years. He also served as the district attorney for Middlesex County from 1921 to 1922, and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1923 to 1936, serving as speaker of the house from 1929 to 1936. In 1938, Saltonstall secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win election to the governorship. He was reelected to a second term in 1940, and to a third term in 1942. During his tenure, a committee of public safety was established; a teamster’s strike was dealt with; taxes were cut; the state deficit was reduced; and an industrial defense committee was formed, as well as an interfaith committee against discrimination. After completing his term, Saltonstall left office on January 3, 1945. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1945 to 1967. Governor Leverett Saltonstall passed away on June 17, 1979, and was buried at the Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem, 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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