James A. Finnegan

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James Finnegan
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In office
December 29, 1956[1] – March 26, 1958
Governor George Leader
Preceded by Henry Harner
Succeeded by John Rice
In office
January 18, 1955 – November 17, 1955
Governor George Leader
Preceded by Gene Smith
Succeeded by Henry Harner
President of the Philadelphia City Council
In office
January 1, 1951 – January 14, 1955[2]
Succeeded by James Tate
Member of the Philadelphia City Council
In office
January 6, 1947 – January 18, 1955
Personal details
Born (1906-12-20)December 20, 1906
Died March 26, 1958(1958-03-26) (aged 51)
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania

James A. Finnegan (December 20, 1906 – March 26, 1958) was a Democratic politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1931, and then served the United States Air Force as Lieutenant Colonel in the Troop Carrier Command in the United States, England, and France from 1942–46.

Finnegan served in succession as Secretary of the Delaware River Navigation Commission under Governor George Earle, administrative assistant to Senator Francis Myers, administrative assistant to former Congressman Mike Bradley, and chair of the Philadelphia County Democratic Executive Committee. A member of Philadelphia City Council, he was elected its president in 1951, serving until January 1955.

Finnegan became Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor George Leader in 1955. He resigned the position that same year to assume the duties of campaign manager for Illinois Governor Adlai E. Stevenson’s pre-convention and later presidential campaign in 1956. Leader reappointed Finnegan Secretary of the Commonwealth on December 28, 1956. He served in this capacity until his death, at age 52, on March 26, 1958.

Pennsylvania political leaders at the time of Finnegan's demise created the Finnegan Foundation. The foundation's purpose is to provide educational fellowships to undergraduates.


  1. ^ "Finnegan Takes Oath". The Reading Eagle. December 29, 1956. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Administration of James H. J. Tate". Mayor's Correspondence and Files. The City of Philadelphia: Department of Records. Retrieved February 12, 2012.