James A. Haley
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Born in Jacksonville, Alabama, Haley attended the public schools and the University of Alabama. During World War I, Haley enlisted in Troop A, Second Cavalry, in April 1917 and served overseas. He was an accountant in Sarasota, Florida from 1920 to 1933. He served as general manager of John Ringling estate 1933–1943.
From 1943 to 1945 he was the first vice president of Ringling Circus and president and director of Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey. In 1944, a fire broke out at a Ringling Circus show in Hartford, Connecticut that killed 169 persons. As a result of the fire he and five other circus officials pleaded no contest to charges of involuntary manslaughter and were sentenced to prison. He served eight months in 1945 was returned to Florida, where he received a pardon.
Haley worked for the Bailey Circus, of Sarasota, Florida, from 1946 to 1948. He engaged in newspaper publishing and later in general printing business. He served as chairman of the Democratic executive committee of Sarasota County 1935–1952. He served as member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1949 to 1952. From 1952 to 1960, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions.
Haley was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-third and to the eleven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1977). He served as chairman of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (Ninety-third and Ninety-fourth Congresses). He was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-fifth Congress in 1976.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.