James Rolph

Infobox Governor
name = James Rolph, Jr.


order = 27th
office = Governor of California
term_start = January 6, 1931
term_end = June 2, 1934
lieutenant = Frank Merriam
predecessor = C. C. Young
successor = Frank Merriam
order2 = 30th
office2 = Mayor of San Francisco
term_start2 = January 8, 1912
term_end2 = January 6, 1931
lieutenant2 =
predecessor2 = P. H. McCarthy
successor2 = Angelo Rossi
birth_date = birth date|1869|8|23|mf=y
birth_place = San Francisco, California
death_date = death date and age|1934|6|2|1869|8|23
death_place = Santa Clara County, California
party = Republican
spouse = Annie Marshall Reid
profession = Politician
religion = Episcopalian

James Rolph, Jr. (August 23, 1869ndash June 2, 1934) was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th Governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression. Previously, Rolph had been Mayor of San Francisco from January 8, 1912 until his resignation to become governor. Rolph remains the longest serving mayor in San Francisco history.

Biography

James Rolph was born in San Francisco on August 23, 1869. He had one younger brother. After attending school in the Mission District, he went to work as an office boy in a commission house. He entered the shipping business in 1900, by forming a partnership with George Hind. He would over the next decade, serve as president of two banks, one of which he helped establish.

Although he was asked to run for mayor in 1909, he chose to wait until 1911 to run for mayorndash a position that he would hold for eighteen years. As mayor, he was known as "Sunny Jim" and his theme song was "There Are Smiles that Make You Happy". In 1915 he appeared as himself in an early documentary film titled "Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco", which was directed by and starred Fatty Arbuckle. In addition to his mayoral duties and overseeing his shipping interests, he directed the Ship Owners and Merchants Tugboat Company, and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. He also was vice-president of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and president of the Merchants' Exchange. He resigned in 1931 to assume the office of Governor of California.

Rolph received considerable criticism for publicly praising the citizens of San Jose following the November 1933 lynching of the confessed murderers of Brooke Hart, while promising to pardon anyone involved, thereby earning the nickname, "Governor Lynch".

After suffering several heart attacks, he died in Santa Clara County on June 2, 1934, three years into his term. He is interred at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

Legacy

The official name of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge is the James "Sunny Jim" Rolph Bridge.

U.S. Ambassador Joesph Wilson, husband to Valerie Plame from the Plame affair, is related to Governor Rolph. Rolph was Wilson's mother's uncle.

External links

* [http://www.governor.ca.gov/govsite/govsgallery/h/biography/governor_27.html Biography from the State of California]
* [http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/rollyson-romaldus.html#RHS0JWWJQ The Political Graveyard]
* [http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist1/rolph.html Biography from the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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