Sam Houston Jones (1897 - 1978)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Merryville, LA, USA
Death: Died in Lake Charles, LA, USA
Cause of death: Hardening of the arteries
Occupation: 47th Governor of Louisiana, City Judge
Managed by: Joel Scott Cognevich
Last Updated:
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About Sam Houston Jones

Sam Jones broke the 12-year hold on the Governor's office enjoyed by the Long faction in Louisiana politics. Following the "Louisiana Scandals" of 1939 which focused voters' attention on the corruption of Long's followers, Jones won the gubernatorial election of 1940 defeating Earl Long. Jones had no experience in state government but promised - and delivered - an honest administration.

He enacted civil service legislation, established competitive bidding for state purchases, and abolished the practice of annual voter registration. Jones governed during wartime, a difficult period to administer new policies. The reduction of executive power further hindered him.

Jones did continue several of the Long programs including free lunches for school- children, equal pay for black and white teachers, increased funding of state colleges and aid to the blind, elderly and indigent families. Chiefly, he restored state and national respect for Louisiana.

Jones did not build a political dynast y. He ran again in 1948, against Earl Long but, as one historian wrote, "Long outpromised Jones." Jones' heritage of good government continues in a group he helped found, the Public Affairs Research Council.

He died in Lake Charles in 1978.

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Sam Jones's Timeline

1897
July 15, 1897
Merryville, LA, USA
1978
February 7, 1978
Age 80
Lake Charles, LA, USA
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Lake Charles, LA, USA