Governors from Statehood to Present Day

  • Charles N. Haskell

    Charles Haskell, Oklahoma’s first Governor, was born on March 13, 1860 near Leipsic, Ohio. A self-taught teacher, he was admitted to the Ohio bar on December 6, 1880 and began practicing law in Ottawa, Ohio. In 1901, Haskell moved to Muskogee, Indian Territory, while promoting a railroad system. He hoped to make Muskogee the “Queen City of...

  • Lee Cruce

    Lee Cruce, the second Governor of Oklahoma, was born near Marion, Kentucky on July 8, 1863. Educated at Marion Academy, he later received his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He joined his brother’s law firm at Ardmore in Indian Territory in 1891. Ten years later he entered the banking business as the first cashier at...

  • Robert L. Williams

    Robert Lee Williams, the third Governor of Oklahoma, was born December 20, 1868, at Brundidge, Alabama. As a young man, Williams earned a number of college degrees, which included the study of the Methodist ministry and became licensed to preach. Admitted to the Alabama Bar, he began his practice in Troy in 1891. He came to...

  • James B. A. Robertson

    The fourth governor of Oklahoma, James Brooks Ayers Robertson, was born in Keokuk County, Iowa on March 15, 1871, and raised in Kansas. In 1893, he moved to Chandler, Oklahoma Territory, where he taught school and practiced law. Beginning in 1900, when he became Lincoln County attorney, Robertson began climbing the political ladder, culminating to...

  • John C. Walton

    John C. “Jack” Walton was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 6, 1881 and lived ten years of his youth in Lincoln, Nebraska. Walton joined the army in 1897, and although he saw no foreign service during the Spanish-American War, he lived in Mexico for some time. He then traveled to Oklahoma Territory in 1903...

  • Martin E. Trapp

    Upon the impeachment and conviction of Governor John “Jack” Walton, on November 19, 1923, Lieutenant Governor Martin Edwin Trapp took office as governor. Trapp was born in Robinson, Kansas, April 18, 1877. When Trapp was twelve years old his father participated in the Oklahoma Land Run of April 22, 1889 and moved the family to...

  • Henry S. Johnston

    Henry S. Johnston, the seventh governor of Oklahoma, was born in a log cabin near Evansville, Indiana, on December 30, 1867. When only twenty-four years of age he migrated to Colorado, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1891. A few years later he came to Perry, Oklahoma Territory, where he...

  • William J. Holloway

    William Judson Holloway was a native of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, born December 15, 1888. His father, a Baptist minister eager that his son secure a good education, sent him to Quachita College. After graduation in 1910, Holloway attended the University of Chicago and then moved to Oklahoma. He lived in Hugo and became principal of the...

  • William H. Murray

    Probably Oklahoma’s most colorful political figure, William Henry Davis Murray, better known as “Alfalfa Bill,” was born November 21, 1869, in Collinsville, Texas. His mother died when he was two years old and once his father remarried, the family moved to Montague, Texas. Murray left home at twelve, but he did attend school at College...

  • Ernest W. Marland

    A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Marland was born May 8, 1874. He was educated at Park Institute and received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1893 at age nineteen. He began his law practice at Pittsburgh, but engaged in the oil production business after moving to Oklahoma in 1908. His first big...

  • Leon C. Phillips

    Leon Chase Phillips, Oklahoma’s eleventh governor, was born December 9, 1890, in Worth County, Missouri. His family moved to a claim in western Oklahoma where he attended a country school and graduated from high-school. He taught for a while, and then entered Epworth University in Oklahoma City, intending to study for the ministry, but changed...

  • Robert S. Kerr

    Oklahoma’s first native-born governor, Robert S. Kerr, was born near Ada, Indian Territory on September 11, 1896. He graduated from public school and attended college at East Central Normal School, Oklahoma Baptist University, and the University of Oklahoma. During World War I, he served with the American Expeditionary Force in France for ten months as...

  • Roy J. Turner

    Roy Joseph Turner, Oklahoma’s thirteenth governor, was born November 6, 1894 in Lincoln County, Oklahoma Territory. Upon completion of his high school education, he attended Hill’s Business College in Oklahoma City. He was a bookkeeper for Morris Packing Company in Oklahoma City in 1911. Five years later he became a salesman for the Goodyear Tire...

  • Johnston Murray

    Oklahoma’s fourteenth governor, Johnston Murray, was born in Emet, Indian Territory on July 21, 1902, in the mansion of the Chickasaw Nation’s Governor, Douglas H. Johnston. His early education was governed by the work location of his famous father, William “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, Oklahoma’s ninth governor. He attended public schools in Oklahoma and in Washington...

  • Raymond D. Gary

    Raymond D. Gary was the first Governor born in Oklahoma since statehood. Born January 21, 1908 on a farm midway between Madill and Kingston, he graduated from Madill High School and Southeastern State College in Durant. After five years of teaching he was elected County Superintendent of Marshall County schools in 1932, serving four years....

  • J. Howard Edmondson

    At age thirty-three, J. Howard Edmondson became the youngest Governor in the history of Oklahoma. Born in Muskogee on September 27, 1925, Edmondson graduated from Muskogee High School then enrolled in the University of Oklahoma. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in March 1942, serving until December 5, 1945. Edmondson completed his law degree...

  • George Nigh

    George Patterson Nigh, Oklahoma’s seventeenth and twenty-second Governor, was born in McAlester on June 9, 1927, son of Wilbur R. and Irene Crockett Nigh. Nigh attended public schools in McAlester and Eastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College at Wilburton. From June 1945 through September 1946, he served in the U.S. Navy. Nigh was granted a...

  • Henry L. Bellmon

    Henry L. Bellmon, Oklahoma’s eighteenth, served as the first Republican governor of the state. He served under unusual circumstances in the he was surrounded by other top elected officials who were Democrats. By rigid economy and use of growth revenue Bellmon assured voters that Oklahoma could operate with a plan to increase spending for education...

  • Dewey F. Bartlett

    Oklahoma’s nineteenth governor, Dewey Follett Bartlett, served from January 9, 1967 to January 11, 1971. The second Republican Governor of the State of Oklahoma, Bartlett was born in Marietta, Ohio, on March 28, 1919. He was educated in public schools then attended Lawrenceville Preparatory Schools in New Jersey. Bartlett earned a B.S.E. degree in Geological Engineering...

  • David Hall

    Oklahoma’s twentieth governor, Democrat David Hall, was born on October 20, 1930, in Oklahoma City. The son of William A. “Red” Hall, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hall served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954, and was a captain...

  • David Boren

    David Lyle Boren was born in Washington, D.C., April 21, 1941, the son of Congressman Lyle H. and Christine McKown Boren. He attended public schools in Seminole, Oklahoma and Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from Yale University Summa Cum Laude, receiving a B.A. degree in 1963; graduated with honors with a M.A. degree as a Rhodes...

  • George Nigh

    On November 7, 1978, Nigh was elected Governor, but was sworn in January 3, 1979. Nigh served five days to fill an unexpired term following the resignation of Governor David Boren. Nigh began his regular term as twenty-second Governor of Oklahoma on January 8, 1979. During his first term, Nigh pushed through seventeen tax cuts,...

  • Henry L. Bellmon

    Henry L. Bellmon, Oklahoma’s eighteenth and twenty-third, served as the first Republican governor of the state. He served under unusual circumstances in the he was surrounded by other top elected officials who were Democrats. By rigid economy and use of growth revenue Bellmon assured voters that Oklahoma could operate with a plan to increase spending...

  • David Walters

    Oklahoma’s twenty-fourth governor, David Lee Walters, was born on November 20, 1951, near Canute, Oklahoma, in Washita County. The son of Harold and Evelyn Walters, he graduated as valedictorian from Canute High School in 1969 and from the University of Oklahoma in 1973, with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Walters began his career at the...

  • Frank Keating

    Francis Andrew Keating, Oklahoma’s twenty-fifth governor and the first Republican to win election to two consecutive terms, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, February 10, 1994. Keating’s family moved to Tulsa before he was six months old. He graduated from Cascia Hall High School in 1962, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from...

  • Brad Henry

    Brad Henry served two four-year terms as governor of Oklahoma. Originally elected in 2002, Governor Henry was re-elected in 2006 by one of the largest margins in state history. A third generation Oklahoman, Governor Henry was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He attended public schools and graduated from Shawnee High School. The governor attended the University...

  • Mary Fallin

    Governor Mary Fallin was elected November 2, 2010, during a historic election in which she became the first-ever female governor of Oklahoma. She was inaugurated on the steps of the Oklahoma Capitol as the state’s twenty-seventh governor on January 10, 2011. After a successful career in the private sector as a manager for a national...

  • Kevin Stitt

    J. Kevin Stitt, the 28th governor of Oklahoma, is leading the state with a vision to become top “Ten” in critical categories, from government accountability to job growth, infrastructure, education and more. Stitt is an Oklahoman entrepreneur and businessman, who founded Gateway in Jenks, Oklahoma, in 2000. Starting Gateway with only $1,000 and a computer,...

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