Historical records matching William B. Umstead, Governor, U.S. Senator
About William B. Umstead, Governor, U.S. Senator
illiam Bradley Umstead (May 13, 1895 – November 7, 1954) was an American Senator and the 63rd Governor of the state of North Carolina from 1953 to 1954.
Umstead was born in the northern Durham County town of Bahama in 1895. In 1916, Umstead earned a bachelor's degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a member of Philanthropic Society.
Umstead taught high school history for approximately one school year before joining the Army after the U.S. entry into World War I. He served as an officer and saw combat in France; Umstead was discharged in 1919 as a first lieutenant. He almost immediately entered law school at Trinity College (today, Duke University). Umstead was a prosecutor for most of his legal career and served as the elected solicitor (today called District Attorney) for a five-county district from 1927 to 1933.
He served from 1933 to 1939 in the United States House of Representatives, choosing not to seek re-election in 1938. Umstead was chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party for several years until he was appointed to fill a vacant United States Senate seat in 1946. Defeated for a Senate term of his own in 1948, Umstead ran for Governor in 1952 and won. However, on 10 January 1953, only two days after his inauguration, Umstead was crippled by a heart attack. He was constantly in ill health until his death nearly two full years afterwards, upon which he was succeeded as governor by Luther H. Hodges.
Umstead is buried in the Mount Tabor Church Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina.
William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina was named in his honor in 1966.