Thad A. Eure

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Thad A. Eure
Thad Eure NC.png
North Carolina Secretary of State
In office
1936–1989
Preceded by Charles G. Powell
Succeeded by Rufus L. Edmisten
Personal details
Born (1899-11-15)November 15, 1899
Gates County, North Carolina
Died July 21, 1993(1993-07-21) (aged 93)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Minta Banks (m.1924)
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Elon University

Thaddeus Armie (Thad) Eure (November 15, 1899 – July 21, 1993) was a North Carolina political figure who holds the record for longest tenure as North Carolina Secretary of State (1936–1989).[1][2]

Prior to his service as secretary of state, Eure served as mayor of Winton, NC, and as a state legislator. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan recognized Eure as having held public office longer than any official in the nation at that time, with more than 64 years of continuous service. In his later years, he was known as the "oldest rat in the Democratic barn." Ironically, in his first run for the office of Secretary of State, he asked voters to "give a young man a chance."

Eure was to become the last remaining living member of the NC legislature to have voted to approve the establishment of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol in 1929. During his tenure as Secretary of State, Eure was asked by Highway Patrol leadership to give the swearing-in oath of office to graduating troopers in each basic school class at the NC Highway Patrol School, which was first conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill and later in Raleigh at the present campus on Garner Road. Eure would proudly address each class and he signed each individual trooper's oath certificate in his trademark green ink. When his physical condition weakened in 1985, then-NC Governor James Martin assigned a trooper to drive Eure to and from work each day and troopers joked that they would stab each other in the back to have a chance to drive Mr. Eure around.

Eure also served on the board of trustees of Elon University from 1942 to 1989 (chairman, 1955-1989). He was not a graduate of that institution, instead attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because he wanted to earn a law degree. Elon did not have a law school until the 21st century. Eure also was credited for the creating the "Long Live Elon" end to each speech and address.

He died of complications of gallbladder surgery in 1993. Upon his death his body was laid in state at the North Carolina State Capitol.[3]

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