David P. Buckson

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David Buckson
David Buckson.png
Attorney General of Delaware
In office
January 15, 1963 – January 19, 1971
GovernorElbert Carvel
Charles L. Terry, Jr.
Russell W. Peterson
Preceded byJanuar Bove
Succeeded byLaird Stabler
63rd Governor of Delaware
In office
December 30, 1960 – January 17, 1961
Preceded byJ. Caleb Boggs
Succeeded byElbert Carvel
15th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
In office
January 15, 1957 – December 30, 1960
GovernorCaleb Boggs
Preceded byJohn Rollins
Succeeded byEugene Lammot
Personal details
David Penrose Buckson

(1920-07-25)July 25, 1920
Townsend, Delaware, U.S.
DiedJanuary 17, 2017(2017-01-17) (aged 96)
Milford, Delaware, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Betty Savin
Patricia Maloney
EducationUniversity of Delaware, Newark (BA)
Pennsylvania State University, Carlisle (LLB)

David Penrose Buckson (July 25, 1920 – January 17, 2017) was an American lawyer and politician from Camden in Kent County, Delaware. He was a veteran of World War II and a member of the Republican Party, who served as the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, for nineteen days the 63rd Governor of Delaware and the 37th Attorney General of Delaware.

Early life and family[edit]

Buckson was born in Townsend, Delaware, the son of Leon and Margaret Hutchison Buckson. He first married Betty Savin in 1945 with whom he had two children, Deborah Gray and Brian Roth. His second wife was Patricia Maloney, whom he married in 1962 and with whom he had four children, Marlee, David, Eric and Kent. They were members of the Methodist Church. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1941 with a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. During World War II Buckson served in the South Pacific and attained the rank of major. Afterwards he resumed legal studies, at Dickinson College Law School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Buckson died on January 17, 2017 at the Delaware Veterans Home in Milford, Delaware.[1][2]

Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Delaware[edit]

He was appointed a judge in the Court of Common Pleas in 1955. A year later, he was elected lieutenant-governor, defeating Vernon Derrickson. He served one term from January 15, 1957 to December 30, 1960. Near the end of his term, in 1960, he sought the Republican Party nomination for governor, but lost it to John W. Rollins. However, he became governor when Governor J. Caleb Boggs resigned to start his first U.S. Senate term, and served the remaining 18 days of Boggs' second term.

Professional and political career[edit]

He was elected Delaware's attorney-general in 1962 and served two terms, from January 15, 1963 to January 19, 1971. He ran for governor again in 1964 but lost to Democratic former Chief Justice Charles L. Terry, Jr., and in 1972, when he failed to receive the Republican nomination.

He was later appointed by Governor Sherman W. Tribbitt to be a judge in the Family Court of Delaware.

Buckson was the first Delaware attorney to have offices in more than one county. He was the founder of Dover Downs, a volunteer fireman, a decorated World War II officer and commander of a National Guard unit. He was also simultaneously city solicitor for the Delaware municipalities of Newark, Middletown, Townsend, Smyrna, Clayton, and Dover.

Buckson died on January 17, 2017 in Milford. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living state governor.[3][4]

Delaware General Assembly
(session while Governor)
Year Assembly Senate Majority President
pro tempore
House Majority Speaker
1961 120th Democratic Allen J. Cook Democratic Sherman W. Tribbitt
Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Lt. Governor Executive Dover January 15, 1957 December 30, 1960 Delaware
Governor Executive Dover December 30, 1960 January 17, 1961 Delaware
Attorney General Executive Dover January 15, 1963 January 17, 1967 Delaware
Attorney General Executive Dover January 17, 1967 January 19, 1971 Delaware
Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1956 Lt. Governor General David P. Buckson Republican 92,254 52% Vernon B. Derrickson Democratic 81,121 48%
1962 Attorney General General David P. Buckson Republican 77,666 51% John Biggs, III Democratic 75,064 49%
1964 Governor General David P. Buckson Republican 97,374 49% Charles L. Terry, Jr. Democratic 102,797 51%
1966 Attorney General General David P. Buckson Republican 96,595 59% Sidney Balick Democratic 66,848 41%
1972 Governor Primary David P. Buckson Republican 20,138 46% Russell W. Peterson Republican 23,929 54%


  • Davis, Ned (2000). Charles L. Terry. Wilmington, Delaware: Delaware Heritage Press. OCLC 47186751. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Martin, Roger A. (1984). History of Delaware Through its Governors. Wilmington, Delaware: McClafferty Press. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Rollins
Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Eugene Lammot
Preceded by
Caleb Boggs
Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Elbert Carvel
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Rollins
Republican nominee for Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Russell Peterson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Januar Bove
Attorney General of Delaware
Succeeded by
Laird Stabler
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Edgar Whitcomb
Oldest living American governor
Succeeded by
John Malcolm Patterson