Paul A. Dever
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|Paul Andrew Dever|
|1939 photograph by Harris and Ewing|
|58th Governor of Massachusetts|
January 6, 1949 – January 8, 1953
|Lieutenant||Charles F. Sullivan|
|Preceded by||Robert F. Bradford|
|Succeeded by||Christian A. Herter|
|32nd Massachusetts Attorney General|
|Preceded by||Joseph E. Warner|
|Succeeded by||Robert T. Bushnell|
January 15, 1903|
|Died||April 11, 1958
He attended the Boston Latin School and worked as a shoe salesman and clerk to finance his legal education at Boston University. When he graduated with high honors in 1926, he also had high expectations. Just several years earlier his cousin from Woburn, Massachusetts, William E. Dever had gained national prominence as the "Mayor who cleaned up Chicago." Dever was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1928, and served from 1929 to 1935, when he was elected the youngest attorney general in the history of Massachusetts at age 31. In 1940, he challenged the popular incumbent Governor Leverett Saltonstall, coming within a small margin of creating an upset victory.
As World War II began, Dever enlisted in the Navy. He lost the 1946 race for lieutenant governor, but two years later he defeated incumbent governor Robert F. Bradford by a substantial margin, and became the 58th Governor. Governor Dever increased state aid to schools and issued an executive order to extend higher education benefits to Korean War veterans. Among his chief concerns were civil defense and resisting domestic communism. He advocated increasing old age and workers compensation insurance. He made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952. Dever had many of his supporters on the state payroll, creating a strong political machine. However, he lost a second re-election bid by 15,000 votes against Republican and future United States Secretary of State Christian Herter.
The Dever administration came under fire in 1952 when the Massachusetts Federation of Taxpayers Associations found pensions for members and former members of the state legislature were increased. One of those eligible was former mayor of Boston and governor James Curley, a convicted felon. Dever gave in to pressure groups, calling a special session of the legislature that repealed the bill.
After his death, the Myles Standish State School for the Mentally Retarded was renamed the Paul A. Dever State School.
Robert F. Bradford
|Governor of Massachusetts
January 6, 1949 - January 8, 1953