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Philip Matthew Donnelly

Gov. Philip Matthew Donnelly

  • January 8, 1945 - January 10, 1949
    January 12, 1953 - January 14, 1957
  • Democratic
  • March 6, 1891
  • September 12, 1961
  • Missouri
  • St. Louis University
  • Married Juanita McFadden; one child


PHILIP M. DONNELLY was born in Lebanon, Missouri on March 6, 1891. His education was attained at Lebanon High School, and at St. Louis University, where he earned a law degree in 1913. He established his legal career, serving as the Lebanon city attorney, as well as serving as the Laclede County prosecuting attorney. Donnelly first entered politics as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, a position he held from 1922 to 1924. He also was a member of the Missouri State Senate from 1924 to 1944, serving twice as senate president. Donnelly next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor on November 7, 1944. After a one term break, he was reelected to a second term on November 4, 1952. During his tenure, penal reform measures were instituted; the Missouri employment service controversy and prison riots were dealt with; and the Missouri highway commission restructuring bill was vetoed. After completing his final term, Donnelly left office on January 14, 1957 and retired from political life. Governor Philip M. Donnelly passed away on September 12, 1961, and was buried in the Lebanon Cemetery in Lebanon, Missouri.


The Lebanon Daily Record

Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri (Produced by the Missouri Historical Society)

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

Official Manual of the State of Missouri (2005-2006)
Previous editions are not available online, but are in hard copy in the State Archives.

The Political Graveyard

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.

Recent Missouri Governors