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About Raymond Earl Baldwin
Raymond Earl Baldwin (August 31, 1893 – October 4, 1986) was a United States Senator, the 72nd and 74th Governor of Connecticut.
Born in Rye, New York, Baldwin moved to Middletown, Connecticut in 1903 son of Lucian Earl Baldwin and Sarah Emily Tyler Baldwin; and attended the public schools. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown in 1916, and entered Yale University. However, upon the declaration of war, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He was assigned to officers' training school and was commissioned an ensign in February 1918, and promoted to lieutenant (j.g.) in September 1918. He resigned from the Navy in August 1919 and returned to Yale Law School, graduating in 1921. He was admitted to the bar in 1921 and practiced in New Haven and Bridgeport. He married Edith Lindholm on June 29, 1922, and they had three sons.
Baldwin was prosecutor of the Stratford Town Court from 1927 to 1930, and was judge of that court from 1931 to 1933. He was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1931 to 1933, serving as majority leader in 1933. He resumed the practice of law from 1933 to 1938, and was town chairman of Stratford from 1935 to 1937.
Baldwin was Governor of Connecticut in 1939 and 1940, and the first governor to use the Governor's Mansion located on Prospect Avenue in Hartford. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the office in 1940. An early supporter of Wendell Willkie, he saw to it that the Connecticut delegation at the 1940 Republican Convention, would back Wilkie which was crucial to beat frontrunners Thomas Dewey, Robert Taft and Arthur Vandenberg. Willkie had unofficially promised Baldwin the spot as his running mate, but party leaders pressured Willikie to name Charles McNary instead, and Baldwin graciously stepped aside from contention. He was also a delegate in 1944 and 1948.
Again elected Governor in 1942 and 1944, Baldwin served until his resignation on December 25, 1946. During his tenure, he eliminated the state deficit without raising taxes; initiated a job-training program; created an inter-racial commission, and reformed the minor court system. Also instituted were a Connecticut Veterans Advisory and Reemployment Commission; and a labor management council. He was elected United States Senator as a Republican on November 5, 1946, to fill the vacancy in the term ending January 3, 1947, caused by the death of Francis T. Maloney. At the same time he was elected for the term commencing January 3, 1947, and served from December 27, 1946, until his resignation on December 16, 1949.
From 1949 to 1959 Baldwin was an associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors (now the Supreme Court of Connecticut); was appointed chief justice in 1959 and served until his retirement in 1963. He was chairman of the Connecticut Constitutional Convention in 1965.
Baldwin died in Fairfield, Connecticut on October 4, 1986, (age 93 years, 34 days). He is interred at Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown, Connecticut.
A member of the Connecticut State Library Committee and its successor, the State Library Board, from 1957 to 1982; Baldwin served as its chair for many years. In tribute to his service, the board renamed the State Library's museum the Raymond E. Baldwin Museum of Connecticut History in 1983. The Baldwin Bridge that carries the Connecticut Turnpike (Rt. 95) from Old Lyme to Old Saybrook is also named for him. The Middlesex Judicial District court house in Middletown as well as the Baldwin Center, a senior citizens center in Stratford are named in his honor.