Sidney Preston Osborn

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Sidney Preston Osborn
Sidney Preston Osborn.jpg
7th Governor of Arizona
In office
January 6, 1941 – May 25, 1948
Preceded byRobert Taylor Jones
Succeeded byDan Edward Garvey
1st Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
February 14, 1912 – January 6, 1919
GovernorGeorge W. P. Hunt
Thomas Edward Campbell
Preceded byInaugural Holder
Succeeded byMit Simms
Personal details
BornMay 17, 1884
Phoenix, Arizona Territory
DiedMay 25, 1948(1948-05-25) (aged 64)
Phoenix, Arizona
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Marjorie Grant Osborn (her death)
Gladys Smiley Osborn (his death)
Sidney Preston Osborn

Sidney Preston Osborn (May 17, 1884 – May 25, 1948) was the first secretary of state of Arizona, and later the seventh governor of Arizona and is, as of 2019, the only governor of Arizona to be elected to four consecutive terms (Governors of Arizona served 2-year terms with no limits until 1968, when it was changed to serve 4-year terms, and changed again in 1992 to a limit of two terms at a time). Osborn is also the second native-born governor of Arizona, preceded by Thomas Edward Campbell.[1]

Early years and political rise[edit]

Osborn worked as a page for the Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1898, and later a secretary to the Congressional Delegate John Frank Wilson (1903–1905).[2] For a time Osborn worked as a newspaper reporter and editor; later he served as a delegate to the Arizona state constitutional convention of 1910.[3]

Career in the state of Arizona[edit]

Despite being elected three times as secretary of state by wide margins in the 1910s,[4] Osborn had little political success for the next two decades. He lost two primaries for governor in 1924[5] and 1938,[6] and a Senate primary against Henry F. Ashurst in 1934.[7] Despite a narrow primary win in 1940,[8] his elections as a gubernatorial nominee never went below 60% of the vote.

His governing style was no-nonsense. The best example occurred at the very beginning of his governorship: Upon taking office, Osborn had the state's top officials turn in a signed, but undated, resignation letter. If an official became an embarrassment to the state, Osborn would date the letter, and announce the official had resigned.

During his fourth term, Osborn suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease and was hardly able to communicate with his staff. He eventually died in office in 1948 and was succeeded by Dan Garvey. Osborn was buried in Phoenix's Greenwood/Memory Lawn Mortuary & Cemetery.

Despite numerous conceptions, Osborn Road in Phoenix was not named after Osborn. It was first named as such in 1900 when Osborn was 16.[9]


  1. ^ *"Arizona Governor Sidney Preston Osborn". Former Governors' Bios. National Governors Association. May 3, 2002. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ Capace 1999, p. 121.
  3. ^
  4. ^
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  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Phoenix Street Names". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.


  • Capace, Nancy (1999). "Governors". Encyclopedia of Arizona. Somerset Pubs. p. 121.
Political offices
Preceded by
new office
Secretary of State of Arizona
1912 – 1919
Succeeded by
Mit Simms
Preceded by
Robert T. Jones
Governor of Arizona
1941 – 1948
Succeeded by
Dan E. Garvey