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Robert A. Hurley records

Identifier: RG005_028

Scope and Content

Gov. Robert A. Hurley's records are correspondence and subject files related to state agencies, commissions, legislative bills, and appointments among other topics.


  • 1941-1943

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Biographical Note

Born: August 25, 1895 at Bridgeport, Connecticut.

College: Lehigh University.

Political Party: Democrat.

Offices: Governor of Connecticut, 1941-1943.

Died: May 3, 1968 at West Hartford, Connecticut.

The election of Robert Hurley marked the first time that Connecticut placed a Catholic into the office of governor. It had taken just over 300 years for the state's political process to move to the point where it would accept a non-Protestant for this position. Hurley grew up in Bridgeport and attended Lehigh University where he was a top athlete. His education was disrupted by his service with the U.S. Navy in World War I. After the war he played professional football and semi-professional baseball before working with his father in the construction and engineering business. Later he owned his own company. He was married to Evelyn Hedberg and they had three children.

Hurley was named director of Fairfield County's Work Project Administration in 1935 and two years later he became Connecticut's first Public Works commissioner. An advocate of the New Deal, Hurley defeated Wilbur Cross at the 1940 Democratic state convention and went on to wrest the governor's position from incumbent, Raymond Baldwin. During his one term he was able to introduce some reform programs to help workers and the unemployed. He also helped Connecticut's rural areas receive electricity. As the United States became more involved with World War II, Hurley pushed the state to be prepared for the conflict even though this was done at the expense of New Deal programs. As a war governor he was able to obtain assurances from labor and industry that strikes would not occur. Production problems at home and the rationing of consumer products led some voters to disapprove of his administration. Yet, most of the people in Connecticut were employed and prosperity had been realized.

Hurley sought to be reelected in 1942, but he lost to former governor, Raymond Baldwin. He won his party's nomination in 1944, but again lost to Baldwin. Hurley then retired from politics and this allowed the Democratic Party, which had split into factions, to become unified two years later under its new party chairman, John Bailey. Hurley became an officer in a company in Rhode Island, but he lived in West Hartford for 30 years. He is buried in the town's Fairview Cemetery. His house still stands and is privately owned.


7.75 cubic feet


Gov. Robert A. Hurley's correspondence and subject files.


Series 1. Correspondence.

Series 2. Subject Files.

Series 3. Charges against William J. Cox, Highway Commissioner.

Related Material



Congressional Quarterly's Guide to United States Elections. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1994 [CSL call number GIRS Ref JK1967 .C662 1994].
Glashan, Roy R. American Governors and Gubernatorial Elections, 1775-1975. Stillwater, Minn.: Croixside Press, 1975 [CSL call number JK2447 .G53 1975].
Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Westport, Conn.: Meckler Books, 1978 [CSL call number GIRS Ref E176 .B573].
Van Dusen, Albert E. Connecticut. New York: Random House, 1961 [CSL call number Hist Ref F94 .V3].
RG 005:028, Office of the Governor: Robert A. Hurley (1941-1943)
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository