Charles Kenneth Claunch

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Charles Kenneth Claunch, Sr.
Born (1899-10-07)October 7, 1899
Chicago, Illinois
Died November 9, 1978(1978-11-09) (aged 79)
Ormond Beach, Florida
Occupation Politician
Salary $9,800 (1953)

Charles Kenneth Claunch, Sr. (October 7, 1899 – November 9, 1978) was an usher for the White House who was appointed as Government Secretary to the United States Virgin Islands and was briefly acting-Governor in 1955 after a scandal.[1]


Claunch was born in Chicago, Illinois and joined the United States Navy in 1918 where he was assigned to the White House as an assistant to a naval aide. In 1938, with a rank of chief petty officer, he resigned from the Navy to accept a position as an usher in the White House.[2] In 1943, his wife committed suicide.

He was appointed Government Secretary, a position in the territorial government equivalent to Lieutenant Governor of a state, on March 25, 1954.[3][4] After a scandal and the resignation of Governor Archie Alexander, Claunch was made acting-Governor from August 17 to October 31, 1955. He was reportedly offered the position of full Governor, but declined. The Washington Post reported that he was the only white man to have served under Alexander's government. He resigned in 1957. He died on November 9, 1978 in Ormond Beach, Florida.[5]

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  1. ^ His Florida death certificate lists his birth as October 7, 1898 and the Social Security Death Index lists it as October 7, 1899. The SSDI is always considered more accurate since he would have to have submitted a birth certificate when he applied for Social Security.
  2. ^ "Body of Gus Gennerich Will Be Taken to Washington on the Cruiser Indianapolis.". New York Times. December 2, 1936. Retrieved 2008-07-01. ... accompanied by Charles Claunch, Chief Yeoman, United States Navy 
  3. ^ "White House Usher Named To $9,800 Job.". Chicago Tribune. March 26, 1954. Retrieved 2008-07-01. Charles K. Claunch, 55, White House usher and a native of Chicago, was appointed government secretary of the Virgin islands today by President ... 
  4. ^ "Claunch, Assistant Usher, Will Be Next to Governor in the Virgin Group". New York Times. March 26, 1954. Retrieved 2008-07-01. Charles Kenneth Claunch, who has been working at the White House since 1929, was called in a week ago by President Eisenhower, who said he was sorry that Mr. Claunch would have to leave the executive mansion. 
  5. ^ "Charles Kenneth Claunch". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. November 10, 1978. Retrieved 2010-06-25. Born In Chicago, Mr. Claunch moved here from Orlando in 1973. He was a Navy veteran of World War I and a member of St. Brendan's Catholic Church Survivors ... 

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Preceded by
Archibald A. Alexander
Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Succeeded by
Walter A. Gordon