Lawrence McCully Judd (1887 - 1968)

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About Lawrence McCully Judd

Lawrence McCully Judd (March 20, 1887 – October 4, 1968) was a politician of the Territory of Hawaii, serving as the seventh Territorial Governor. He was devoted to the Hansen's Disease-afflicted residents of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokaʻi.


Judd was born March 20, 1887 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the grandson of Gerrit P. Judd, who was an early American Missionary, a cabinet minister to King Kamehameha III, and co-founder of Punahou School. His father was Judge Albert Francis Judd (1838–1900) and mother was Agnes Hall Boyd (1844–?). He was the last of nine children. He was married March 6, 1909, at Richmond Hill, New York, to Florence Bell Hackett (1885–?) and had 5 children: Helen Florence (1909-?), Agnes Elizabeth (1912-?), Sophie Janet (1913–?), Lawrence McCully Jr. (1917–?) and Emilie Bell (1920–?). Judd attended the Punahou School and the University of Pennsylvania where he was a member of its fraternity chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.


Judd made several fact-finding tours during his tenure in the Hawaii Territorial Senate 1920–1927. As territorial governor, he overhauled the system of governance in the colony. Judd became Kalaupapa's resident superintendent in 1947. He temporarily served as territorial governor of American Samoa from March 4 to August 4, 1953.

Herbert Hoover appointed Judd to succeeded Wallace Rider Farrington as Governor of Hawaii Territory from 1929 to 1934. A source of controversy during his Hawaii gubernatorial tenure, Judd commuted the sentence of Grace Hubbard Fortescue, socialite and niece of Alexander Graham Bell, convicted in the territorial courts of manslaughter in the death of a local man, Joseph Kahahawai. Hiring defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, Fortescue's case was known as the Massie Affair, a focus of nationwide newspaper coverage. Massie's sentence of ten years in prison was whittled down to one hour in the governor's chambers at ʻIolani Palace. The affair was the subject of a 2005 episode of the PBS series "The American Experience", with some archival footage of Judd.

Judd died on October 4, 1968 in Honolulu and was interred in the city's Oahu Cemetery in Nuʻuanu Valley.

Judd's service as resident superintendent of Kalaupapa was a subject in the 2003 historical novel and national bestseller called Moloka'i by Alan Brennert as well as the historical account, The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman.


Lawrence M. Judd, 7th Territorial Governor of Hawaii's Timeline

March 20, 1887
October 4, 1968
Age 81