Harold D. Cooley

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Harold D. Cooley
Harold D. Cooley.jpg
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
In office
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953
Preceded byClifford R. Hope
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 4th district
In office
July 7, 1934 – December 30, 1966
Preceded byEdward W. Pou
Succeeded byJim Gardner
Personal details
Born(1897-07-26)July 26, 1897
Nashville, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedJanuary 15, 1974(1974-01-15) (aged 76)
Wilson, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina, Yale University Law School

Harold Dunbar Cooley (July 26, 1897 – January 15, 1974) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He represented the Fourth Congressional district of North Carolina from 1934 to 1966.

He was born on July 26, 1897 in Nashville, North Carolina. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale University Law School. He was a private practice lawyer and military veteran, serving in the United States Naval Aviation Flying Corps during World War I. He was a member of the Interparliamentary Conferences held at Cairo, Egypt, 1947 and at Rome, Italy, 1948 and served as president of the American group for two four-year terms.[1]

On July 7, 1934, he was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-third Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Edward W. Pou. He was subsequently reelected 16 times, serving until his resignation on December 30, 1966. Cooley remains the longest-serving Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture in history. He was one of the few Southern Congressmen not to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education. However, Cooley voted against the Civil Rights Acts of 1957,[2] 1960,[3] 1964,[4] and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[5]

He was nearly defeated in 1964 by Republican James Carson Gardner and lost to Gardner in a stunning 13-point upset in 1966.[6]

He died on January 15, 1974, in Wilson, N.C. and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Nashville, N.C.

His home at Nashville, the Bissette-Cooley House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.[7]


  1. ^ http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C000736
  2. ^ "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957". GovTrack.us.
  3. ^ "HR 8601. PASSAGE".
  4. ^ "H.R. 7152. PASSAGE".
  5. ^ "TO PASS H.R. 6400, THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT".
  6. ^ OurCampaigns: 1966
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edward W. Pou
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
James C. Gardner
Preceded by
Clifford R. Hope
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
William R. Poage
Preceded by
Clifford R. Hope
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
Clifford R. Hope