Harley M. Kilgore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Harley Martin Kilgore
Harley M. Kilgore.jpg
United States Senator
from West Virginia
In office
January 3, 1941 – February 28, 1956
Preceded by Rush D. Holt, Sr.
Succeeded by William R. Laird, III
Personal details
Born (1893-01-11)January 11, 1893
Brown, West Virginia
Died February 28, 1956(1956-02-28) (aged 63)
National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Profession Lawyer, Judge, Military

Harley Martin Kilgore (January 11, 1893 – February 28, 1956) was a United States Senator from West Virginia.

Born in Brown, West Virginia, he attended the public schools and graduated from the law department of West Virginia University at Morgantown in 1914 and was admitted to the bar the same year.

He taught school in Hancock, West Virginia in 1914 and 1915, and organized the first high school in Raleigh County, West Virginia in the latter year. He was the school's first principal for a year, and commenced the practice of law in Beckley, West Virginia in 1916. During the First World War he served in the infantry from 1917 and was discharged as a captain in 1920; in 1921 he organized the West Virginia National Guard and retired as a colonel in 1953.

He was judge of the Raleigh County criminal court from 1933 to 1940, and was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in 1940, and won re-election twice. He was a member of the Senate from January 3, 1941 until his death in Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1956. From October 1942, he chaired the Subcommittee on War Mobilization of the Military Affairs Committee, otherwise known as the Kilgore Committee,[1] that oversaw U.S. mobilization efforts for World War II. He also helped establish the National Science Foundation in 1950.

Senator Kilgore was West Virginia's favorite-son candidate in 1948 Democratic presidential primaries and won his home state unopposed.

He died in 1956, aged 63 and was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. ^ Maddox, Robert F., "Senator Harley M Kilgore and Japan's World War II Business Practices", West Virginia History, Volume 55 (1996), pp 127-142, on-line at http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh55-6.html, paragraphs 2 & 6, retrieved 05 Nov 2011


United States Senate
Preceded by
Rush D. Holt, Sr.
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from West Virginia
1941 – 1956
Served alongside: Matthew M. Neely, Joseph Rosier, Hugh Ike Shott,
W. Chapman Revercomb, Matthew M. Neely
Succeeded by
William R. Laird, III
Political offices
Preceded by
William "Wild Bill" Langer
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
1955 – 1956
Succeeded by
James O. Eastland

{{refer to judicial senate membership site:{http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/PreviousCommitteeMembership.cfm}}}