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Sidney Preston Osborn

Gov. Sidney Preston Osborn

  • January 6, 1941 - May 25, 1948
  • Democrat
  • May 17, 1884
  • May 25, 1948
  • Arizona
  • Georgetown University
  • Married twice--Marjorie Grant, Gladys Smiley; one child
  • Died in office


SIDNEY PRESTON OSBORN, Arizona’s only governor to serve four consecutive terms, was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 17, 1884. He graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1903 and attended Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., where his interest in politics grew. Osborn entered politics early, serving as a page to the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1898. From 1903 to 1905 he was a delegate to the U.S. Congress, and in 1910 was a member of the Arizona Constitutional Convention. Osborn also served as Arizona’s secretary of state from 1912 to 1919, and Arizona’s collector of internal revenue from 1933 to 1934. He made three unsuccessful bids for the governor’s office before finally succeeding on November 5, 1940. Governor Osborn won reelection three consecutive times. During his terms as governor, industries migrated into Arizona at a rapid pace resulting from the economic boom of World War II. Several military installations were constructed throughout the state, which helped the economy and led to the doubling of the population. Educational and social needs were addressed, as well as the long battle over Arizona’s membership in the Colorado River Compact, which finally culminated in 1944 with Arizona joining the pact. During his fourth term, Osborn became ill, suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, and died in office on May 25, 1948. Secretary of State Daniel E. Garvey became acting governor, finishing Governor Osborn’s term. Sidney Preston Osborn is buried in Phoenix, Arizona.


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.

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