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Murray Van Wagoner

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Lieutenant  Frank Murphy
Name  Murray Wagoner
Succeeded by  Harry Kelly
Religion  Episcopalian
Party  Democratic Party
Political party  Democratic
Education  University of Michigan
Preceded by  Luren Dickinson
Spouse  Helen Jossman

Murray Van Wagoner httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Role  Former Governor of Michigan
Died  June 12, 1986, Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States
Previous office  Governor of Michigan (1941–1943)

Murray Delos Van Wagoner (March 18, 1898 – June 12, 1986) was an American politician. He served as the 38th Governor of Michigan from 1941 to 1943.


Early life

Van Wagoner was born near Kingston, Michigan in Tuscola County. In 1921, he received a civil engineering degree from the University of Michigan. He worked for a firm in the private sector, and became the owner of his own company. He married Helen Jossman and they had two children together. He served as Oakland County drain commissioner from 1930 until 1933, when he became Michigan State Highway commissioner, a position he held until he was elected governor in 1940.


Van Wagoner was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1936 and 1940, both of which re-nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for U.S. President.

On November 5, 1940, he defeated the incumbent Republican Governor of Michigan, Luren Dickinson, by 131,281 votes to become Michigan's 38th governor. During his two years in office, he encouraged the construction of road projects and most famously the Mackinac Bridge, the elimination of a 27 million dollar deficit occurred, the state mental hospital was reinstated, a consolidated tax collection department was established, worker strikes involving the auto and electrical industries were dealt with, the reorganization of the Michigan civil service system was initialized, and measures were secured for the war effort.

In 1942, Van Wagoner was unsuccessful for re-election against Republican Harry Kelly. Van Wagoner was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1944, which re-nominated President Roosevelt for his fourth term. In 1946, he ran for governor again and was defeated by Republican Kim Sigler. He was also a delegate to the 1952 convention, which nominated Adlai Stevenson, who was unsuccessful in the general election against Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Retirement, death and legacy

Van Wagoner retired from political life and returned to his engineering interests. He was a member of American Legion, Freemasons, Elks, and the National Exchange Club. He died at the age of eighty-eight in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is interred at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery of Troy.

Today the Michigan Department of Transportation building in Lansing is named after him, The Murray Van Wagoner Transportation Building.


Murray Van Wagoner Wikipedia

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