George C. Peery

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George C. Peery
52nd Governor of Virginia
In office
January 18, 1934 – January 15, 1938
Preceded by John G. Pollard
Succeeded by James H. Price
Member of the Virginia State
Corporation Commission
In office
November 29, 1929 – April 17, 1933
Preceded by Louis S. Epes
Succeeded by Thomas W. Ozlin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1929
Preceded by C. Bascom Slemp
Succeeded by Joseph C. Shaffer
Personal details
Born George Campbell Peery
(1873-10-28)October 28, 1873
Cedar Bluff, Virginia, U.S.
Died October 14, 1952(1952-10-14) (aged 78)
Richlands, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nancy Bane Gillespie
Children 3
Education Emory and Henry College
Profession Politician
Religion Methodist

George Campbell Peery (October 28, 1873 – October 14, 1952) was an American Democratic politician, and was the 52nd Governor of Virginia from 1934 to 1938. He was the first governor to be selected, at least partially, by the soon to be very powerful "Byrd Organization", led by Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr.


Peery was born in Cedar Bluff, in Tazewell County, Virginia, in the far southwest portion of the state. He graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1894. Peery went on to earn his Juris Doctorate Degree from Washington & Lee University in 1897, after which he returned to Southwestern Virginia to practice law in Wise.

Peery was a member of Congress, representing the 9th Congressional district of Virginia from 1923 to 1929, and was a delegate to the Democratic Nation Convention in 1920 & 1924. Peery was a member of the State Corporation Commission from 1929 to 1933, then newly elected Senator Byrd approached him to run for Governor in 1933. Peery accepted, and won the November election.

As governor, he created unemployment insurance and, after the repeal of prohibition, he created Virginia's Alcohol Beverage Control board. In 1936, Governor Peery signed into law the act that created Virginia State Parks.

After his retirement as Governor, Peery joined the board of trustees of both Washington and Lee University and Hollins College.

Peery died in 1952, at the age of 78, two weeks short of his 79th birthday, in Richlands, Virginia. He was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Tazewell, Virginia.

Electoral history[edit]

1933; Peery was elected Governor of Virginia with 73.74% of the vote, defeating Republican Fred W. McWane, Prohibitionist Andrew J. Dunning, Jr.. Socialist George C. White, and Independents John Moffett Robinson and W.A. Rowe.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
C. Bascom Slemp
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Joseph C. Shaffer
Political offices
Preceded by
John Garland Pollard
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
James H. Price