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Ralph Lawrence Carr

Gov. Ralph Lawrence Carr

  • January 10, 1939 - January 12, 1943
  • Republican
  • December 11, 1887
  • September 22, 1950
  • Colorado
  • University of Colorado
  • Married twice--Gretchen Fowler, Eleanor Fairall; two children


RALPH LAWRENCE CARR, Colorado’s 29th governor was born in Rosita, Colorado, on December 11, 1887. He graduated and earned a LL.B. degree from the University of Colorado. Carr engaged in a successful legal and publishing career before he entered politics.  He served as county attorney of Conejos County from 1922 to 1929, first assistant attorney general of Colorado from 1927 to 1929, and U.S. District Attorney for Colorado from 1929 to 1933.  On November 8, 1938, Carr was elected Governor of Colorado, and on January 10, 1939, he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term on November 5, 1940. During his tenure, he eradicated a state deficit by shifting state income taxes from public schools to the state’s general fund. The State Reorganization Act was enacted, which reassembled and enhanced the competency of the state government. Carr also dealt with the consequences of World War II. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans were stripped of their property and possessions. Governor Carr condemned racism and the existence of concentration camps, and he was tenacious in the belief that Japanese-Americans be treated as human beings. He sought to help them keep their American citizenship, and in doing so destroyed any chance of advancing his political career. Carr left office on January 12, 1943, and retired from public service until 1950, when he received the Republican gubernatorial nomination.  Governor Ralph Carr died before the general election, on September 22, 1950, and is buried at the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.


Colorado State Archives

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The Political Graveyard

Recent Colorado Governors