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
Born
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

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Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

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

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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.

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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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References

  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.