James A. Finnegan

Last updated
James A. 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
James Aloysius Finnegan

(1906-12-20)December 20, 1906
DiedMarch 26, 1958(1958-03-26) (aged 51)
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania

James Aloysius Finnegan [3] (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 194246.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

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University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

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.

Delaware River major river on the East coast of the United States of America

The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. It drains an area of 14,119 square miles (36,570 km2) in five U.S. states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. Rising in two branches in New York state's Catskill Mountains, the river flows 419 miles (674 km) into Delaware Bay where its waters enter the Atlantic Ocean near Cape May in New Jersey and Cape Henlopen in Delaware. Not including Delaware Bay, the river's length including its two branches is 388 miles (624 km). The Delaware River is one of nineteen "Great Waters" recognized by the America's Great Waters Coalition.

George Howard Earle III American diplomat

George Howard Earle III was an American politician and diplomat. He was a member of the prominent Earle family and the 30th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1935 to 1939. Earle was one of just two Democrats that served as Governor of Pennsylvania between the Civil War and World War II.

Francis J. Myers American politician

Francis John Myers was an American teacher, lawyer, and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a U.S. Representative (1939–1945) and a U.S. Senator (1945–1951) from Pennsylvania. He was Senate Majority Whip from 1949 to 1951.

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.

George M. Leader Governor of Pennsylvania

George Michael Leader was an American politician. He served as the 36th Governor of Pennsylvania from January 18, 1955 until January 20, 1959. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and a native of York County, Pennsylvania. He was the only person from that county ever to be elected governor of the state until the election of Tom Wolf in 2014.

Adlai Stevenson II mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN

Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat.

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.

The James A. Finnegan Foundation was founded in 1960 and incorporated under Pennsylvania law as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. It is governed by an independent Board of Directors, many of whom are Finnegan Alumni.

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  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.
  3. Ralph G. Martin (1964), Ballots and Bandwagons, Chicago: Rand McNally, "Democratic National Convention of 1956", p. 376.

Further reading

Ralph G. Martin American biographer

Ralph G. Martin was an American journalist who authored or co-authored about thirty books, including popular biographies of recent historical figures, among which, Jennie, a two-volume study of Winston Churchill's American mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, became the most prominent bestseller. Other successful tomes focused on British royal romance and on the Kennedy family.