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Wilbur Lucius Cross

Gov. Wilbur Lucius Cross

  • January 7, 1931 - January 4, 1939
  • Democrat
  • April 10, 1862
  • October 5, 1948
  • Connecticut
  • Yale University
  • Married Helen Baldwin Avery; two children


WILBUR LUCIUS CROSS, a four-term Connecticut governor, was born in Mansfield, Connecticut, on April 10, 1862. He graduated from Yale University in 1885, and then earned a doctoral degree in English literature in 1889. Cross taught at his alma mater, was dean of the graduate school, and served as editor of the Yale Review. He also wrote several books, including his autobiography, Connecticut Yankee, which was published in 1943. Cross entered politics after he retired from academia. He won the 1930 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected Connecticut’s 54th governor. He was reelected in 1932, 1934, and 1936. During his tenure, legislation passed that restructured the state government, eliminated child labor, and instituted a minimum wage rate. He also endorsed legislation that authorized funding for the rebuilding of the Connecticut State College, which included the construction of the first campus library, named the Cross Library. Cross ran unsuccessfully in 1838, and left office on January 4, 1939, retiring from public service. He continued to stay active in his writing and research projects. Governor Wilbur L. Cross died on October 5, 1948, and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut.


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.

Advance – University of Connecticut

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