C. William O'Neill

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C. William O'Neill
C. William O'Neill.jpg
Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
April 3, 1970 – August 20, 1978
Preceded byKingsley A. Taft
Succeeded byRobert E. Leach
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
In office
November 30, 1960 – April 4, 1970
Preceded byJohn Weld Peck II
Succeeded byLeonard J. Stern
59th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 14, 1957 – January 12, 1959
LieutenantPaul M. Herbert
Preceded byJohn William Brown
Succeeded byMichael DiSalle
37th Attorney General of Ohio
In office
January 8, 1951 – January 7, 1957
GovernorFrank Lausche
John William Brown
Preceded byHerbert S. Duffy
Succeeded byWilliam B. Saxbe
87th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
January 6, 1947 – January 2, 1949
Preceded byJackson E. Betts
Succeeded byJohn F. Cantwell
Personal details
Born(1916-02-14)February 14, 1916
Marietta, Ohio, U.S.
DiedAugust 20, 1978(1978-08-20) (aged 62)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Betty Hewson
Alma materMarietta College, Moritz College of Law
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1943–1946
Battles/warsWorld War II

C. William O'Neill [1] (February 14, 1916 – August 20, 1978) was an American Republican politician from Ohio.


He was born in Marietta, Ohio. He was the 59th Governor of Ohio. He graduated from both Marietta College (1938) and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1942). While at Marietta he joined The Delta Upsilon University.

O'Neill served as a state representative and as Speaker of the House. He was then elected the State Attorney General in 1950, being the youngest person elected to the office at age 34.[1] He served from 1951–1957, when he was elected to the governorship. O'Neill served until 1959. He was defeated for re-election due to his support of the controversial proposed "right to work" amendment to the Ohio Constitution. He served on the Ohio Supreme Court from 1960 until his death serving as an associate justice, then Chief Justice. O'Neill was the only Ohioan to serve in top leadership positions in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of Ohio.[1]

O'Neill was married to Betty Hewson on July 29, 1945, and they had two children. He died August 20, 1978, and his funeral service was at First Community Church in Columbus. He was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Marietta.[1]


The O'Neill Building at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, is named in honor of O'Neill. Additionally, The C. William O'Neill Senior Citizens Center in Marietta, Ohio is named in his honor.


  1. ^ a b c d The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System – C. William O'Neill "As he explained to the Columbus Dispatch in a 1975 interview the initial 'C'. stands for nothing; rather it was a compromise between his mother, who wanted to name him Charles, and his father, who did not want a junior in the family."

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Herbert S. Duffy
Ohio Attorney General
Succeeded by
William B. Saxbe
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Rhodes
Republican Party nominee for Governor of Ohio
1956, 1958
Succeeded by
Jim Rhodes