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Sunday, 19 April 2015


In the United States of America, each of the  fifty states has a governor elected by its own people. The governor is responsible for the state's administrative processes.

In other countries such as Pakistan a provincial governor is appointed by the central government acting as the ceremonial head of the provinces.

Christopher Columbus was appointed Governor of all the lands in the New World that he discovered. However he was ill-suited to the role, getting upset with the natives when they couldn't find gold and there was accusations of tyranny. By 1500 his governorship of the Indies was in disgrace and Columbus returned to Spain in chains.

In 1522 Hernando Cortés was promoted to Governor and Captain-General of Mexico after the sacking of Tenochtitlan. So ruthless were his methods that four years later he was sacked and he spent the remainder of his life pleading his cause.

Beatriz de la Cueva de Alvarado was a Spanish noblewoman from Úbeda in Andalucia who was declared governor of the Spanish colony of Guatemala on September 9, 1541 She was the first female colonial governor in the New World, but died in a September 11 disaster two days after taking office.

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislature in the Americas, and the state is unique for prohibiting governors from serving consecutive terms.

 When John Winslow was elected governor of Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1673, he became the first native-born colonial governor.

The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718 (a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire.) The first governor was a former pirate named Woodes Rogers.

 In 1827, Sam Houston (see below) was elected Governor of Tennessee as a Jacksonian. When he assumed the governorship of Texas in 1859, Houston became the only person to have become the governor of two different US states through direct, popular election.

Stevens T. Mason (October 27, 1811 – January 4, 1843) was an American politician who served as the first Governor of Michigan from 1835 to 1840. Elected at age 23 and taking office at 24, Mason was and remains the youngest state governor in American history.

Stevens T. Mason

In 1871 William Woods Holden became the first governor of a US state to be removed from office due to impeachment.

Mixed race publisher and politician P.B.S. Pinchback became the first person of African descent to become governor of a U.S. state when he served as the 24th Governor of Louisiana for 35 days, from December 9, 1872, to January 13, 1873.

P. B. S. Pinchback. Library of Congress description: "Gov. Pinchback"

Jim Hogg, the governor of Texas from 1891 to 1895, named his only daughter “Ima.”

When Theodore Roosevelt was governor of  New York State, he would run up the steps of Albany’s capitol building every morning for exercise. Allegedly, if reporters wanted an interview, they would have to get to the top of the stairs first.

Lew Wallace (1827-1905), was the Governor of the New Mexico Territory when he wrote the novel Ben Hur.

Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming (see below) was elected the first female governor in the United States on November 4, 1924, when she succeeded her late husband William B. Ross.

When Ella T. Grasso was elected governor of Connecticut in 1974, she became the first woman in the US to win a governorship without succeeding her husband.

Bill Clinton was known as the “Boy Governor” when he won election as governor of Arkansas in 1978 at the age of just 32. He served as governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1983 to 1993.

When Douglas Wilder was chosen as governor of Virginia, he became the first African-American to be elected governor of any state. Wilder served as the 66th Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994.

Former professional wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura was sworn in as governor of Minnesota on January 4, 1999. Ventura left office in 2003, deciding not to run for re-election.

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