Paul A. Dever
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|Paul A. Dever|
1939 photograph by Harris and Ewing
|58th Governor of Massachusetts|
January 6, 1949 – January 8, 1953
|Lieutenant||Charles F. Sullivan|
|Preceded by||Robert F. Bradford|
|Succeeded by||Christian A. Herter|
|32nd Massachusetts Attorney General|
|Preceded by||Joseph E. Warner|
|Succeeded by||Robert T. Bushnell|
|Born||Paul Andrew Dever
January 15, 1903
|Died||April 11, 1958
He attended the Boston Latin School and worked as a shoe salesman and clerk to finance his legal education at Boston University. When he graduated with high honors in 1926, he also had high expectations. As Chicago's chief executive from 1923 to 1927, Dever's cousin from Woburn, Massachusetts, William E. Dever had gained national prominence as the "Mayor who cleaned up Chicago."
Paul Dever was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1928, and served from 1929 to 1935. In 1934 he was elected Attorney General, the youngest in the history of Massachusetts at age 31. In 1940, he challenged popular incumbent Governor Leverett Saltonstall, coming within a small margin of an upset victory.
World War II
In 1942 Dever enlisted in the Navy for World War II. He was subsequently commissioned a Lieutenant Commander, and served in the North Atlantic, European and African Sectors until his discharge at the end of the war in 1945.
Return to politics
Dever lost the 1946 race for lieutenant governor, but two years later he defeated incumbent governor Robert F. Bradford by a substantial margin, and became the 58th Governor. Governor Dever increased state aid to schools and issued an executive order to extend higher education benefits to Korean War veterans. Among his chief concerns were civil defense and resisting domestic communism. He advocated increasing old age and workers compensation insurance.
In 1952 Dever made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Later that year the Dever administration came under fire when the Massachusetts Federation of Taxpayers Associations found that pensions for members and former members of the state legislature had been increased. One of those eligible was former Mayor and Governor James Curley, a convicted felon. Dever gave in to pressure groups, calling a special session of the legislature that repealed the bill. Although Dever had built a strong political machine in Massachusetts, he was narrowly defeated for re-election by Christian Herter in 1952.
Death and burial
After leaving office Dever returned to practicing law. He suffered from heart disease in his later years, and died in Cambridge on April 11, 1958. He was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in the West Roxbury section of Boston.
After his death, the Myles Standish State School for the Mentally Retarded was renamed the Paul A. Dever State School.
Robert F. Bradford
|Governor of Massachusetts
January 6, 1949 - January 8, 1953