Robert B. Meyner


Robert B. Meyner

Infobox Governor
name = Robert B. Meyner


caption =
order = 44th
office = Governor of New Jersey
term_start = January 19, 1954
term_end = January 16, 1962
predecessor = Alfred E. Driscoll
successor = Richard J. Hughes
birth_date = birth date|1908|7|3|mf=y
birth_place = Easton, Pennsylvania
death_date = death date and age |1990|05|27|1908|07|03
death_place =
party = Democratic
spouse = Helen Stevenson Meyner
religion = Anglican

Robert Baumle Meyner (July 3, 1908 - May 27, 1990) of Phillipsburg, New Jersey was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 44th Governor of New Jersey, from 1954 to 1962. Before being elected Governor, Meyner represented Warren County in the New Jersey Senate from 1948 to 1951.

Early life

Meyner was born in Easton, Pennsylvania to Gustave Herman Meyner (1878 - 1950) and his wife Sophia Mary Baumle (1881 - 1968). His father was a German American silk worker from Manchester, New Hampshire. His mother was Swiss, born near Basel. Robert had an older brother, Gustave Meyner. He also had a younger sister, Olive Meyner Wagner. [ [http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~library/special/meyner/AdditionsGuide/NewWebGuide/Rbio.htm Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives:"Biographical Sketchndash Robert Baumle Meyner, 1908-1990"] ]

In 1916, the Meyner family moved across the state border to Phillipsburg, New Jersey. They briefly settled in Paterson, New Jersey but had returned to Phillipsburg by 1922. Meyner graduated from Phillipsburg High Schoolin 1926, and entered Lafayette College, where he majored in government and law. He was a brother of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity. In 1928, Meyner formed a club supporting Al Smith as a Presidential candidate in the United States presidential election, 1928. [ [http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~library/special/meyner/AdditionsGuide/NewWebGuide/Rbio.htm Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives:"Biographical Sketchndash Robert Baumle Meyner, 1908-1990"] ] Smith was the nominee of the Democratic Party but lost the election to Herbert Hoover of the Republican Party.

In his senior year, Meyner was editor in chief of "The Lafayette", a student newspaper.After his graduation, he moved on to Columbia Law School, where he was awarded an LL.B. degree in 1933. [ [http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~library/special/meyner/AdditionsGuide/NewWebGuide/Rbio.htm Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives:"Biographical Sketchndash Robert Baumle Meyner, 1908-1990"] ]

While still in school, Meyner had been employed as an apprentice coremaker by the Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation and Ingersoll Rand. During his college years, Meyner was employed as a weaver by the Gunning Silk Company. Following his graduation from Columbia, Meyner found employment as a law clerk in Union City. He was employed by J. Emil Walscheid and Milton Rosenkranz from February, 1933 to April, 1936. [ [http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~library/special/meyner/AdditionsGuide/NewWebGuide/Rbio.htm Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives:"Biographical Sketchndash Robert Baumle Meyner, 1908-1990"] ]

Political beginnings

Meyner returned to Phillipsburg in 1936, where he quickly became a well-known trial lawyer. His prominent involvement in civic and social affairs, as well as the recognition it generated, helped him in 1941 during his first bid for elected office. He lost a campaign for a seat in the New Jersey Senate by only fifty votes.

During World War II, Meyner served as an officer in the Navy, and he was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After a failed run for federal office, he was elected to the state senate in 1947. Though he was the Senate Minority Leader in 1950, Meyner lost his seat in the election of 1952.

Governor of New Jersey

The ailing New Jersey Democratic Party chose him as its gubernatorial candidate in 1953, and he achieved a surprise victory, boosted by a minor scandal surrounding his opponent, Paul L. Troast. Meyner's first term was marked by strong support for state education and a general restructuring of the government. While in his first term as Governor, Meyner uncovered Employment Security Division Director (and former governor) Harold G. Hoffman's massive corruption scam, and suspended Hoffman on March 18, 1954. Meyner defeated Malcolm Forbes handily in 1957 in his bid for re-election.

In 1958, "Time Magazine" recognized Meyner as a potential candidate for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, and featured him on the cover of their November 24th edition of that year (along with five other noteworthy Democrats, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson).

At the 1960 Democratic National Convention Meyner received 43 votes for president, finishing fifth behind John F. Kennedy (806 votes), Lyndon Johnson (409 votes), Stuart Symington (86 votes) and Adlai Stevenson (79.5 votes) and just ahead of Hubert Humphrey who received 41 votes.

At the time, New Jersey's constitution prohibited governors from serving more than two consecutive terms, but did not place a limit on the total number of terms. After his Democratic successor, Richard J. Hughes had served two terms and was unable to run for a third, the Democratic Party turned back to Meyner as their gubernatorial candidate in 1969. But after 16 years of Democratic administrations, Republican William T. Cahill won election over Meyner.

Marriage

Meyner's wife, Helen Stevenson Meyner served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 through 1978.

Death

Meyner was cremated and his ashes are at Phillipsburg Cemetery in Phillipsburg.

References

External links

* [http://www.njstatelib.org/NJ_Information/Digital_Collections/Governors_of_New_Jersey/GMEYN.pdf Biography of Robert B. Meyner (PDF format)] , New Jersey State Library
* [http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=2dae1acc469f9010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e449a0ca9e3f1010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD New Jersey Governor Robert Baumie Meyner] , National Governors Association
* [http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~library/special/meyner/AdditionsGuide/NewWebGuide/SeriesDescriptions/Ser1.htm "Robert B. and Helen Stevenson Meyner Papers, 1910-1998", Lafayette College] .
* [http://members.bellatlantic.net/%7Evze2rdt7/DGovs/deadgovernorsnj.html#meyner "Dead Governors of New Jersey" biography for Robert B. Meyner] .
* [http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/meyering-michalski.html#RJD0VQ4P0 Robert B. Meyner] , The Political Graveyard.


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