- Dennis J. Roberts
Dennis Joseph Roberts 63rd Governor of Rhode Island In office
January 2, 1951 – January 6, 1959
Lieutenant John S. McKiernan (1951–1956)
Armand H. Cote (1957–1959)
Preceded by John S. McKiernan Succeeded by Christopher Del Sesto 29th Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island In office
January 1941 – January 1951
Preceded by John F. Collins Succeeded by Walter H. Reynolds Personal details Born April 8, 1903
Providence, Rhode Island
Died June 30, 1994(aged 91)
Providence, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic Profession Lawyer, Politician Religion Catholic
Dennis Joseph Roberts (April 8, 1903 – June 30, 1994) was an American politician, member of the Democratic Party, who served as 63rd Governor of Rhode Island.
His political career began in 1935 when he was elected to the State Senate, where he served until 1939. He became chairman of the State Democratic Party in 1938. He was a delegate to the 1936, 1940, 1948 and 1960 Democratic National Conventions (first time as an alternate delegate).
He was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 1950 and was re-elected three times, serving four two-year terms, holding the office from January 2, 1951 to January 6, 1959. While governor, he established a Department of Administration as a housekeeping agency for finance and other problems, as well as a Development Council to promote economic development in Rhode Island. He also reorganized the Department of Social Welfare to improve its administration. During the 1956 Gubernatorial election he lost in plurality votes to Republican Christopher Del Sesto, but the Rhode Island Supreme Court invalidated 5,000 civilian absentee and shut-in ballots cast prior to election day on the ground that a constitutional amendment required such votes to be cast on, rather than prior to, election day. This left Roberts the winner. He was defeated by Del Sesto two years later.
In 1960 former Governor Roberts sought the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat but was defeated by Claiborne Pell, who won and served in the Senate until 1997. He later went on to chair the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, where he recommended a unicameral state legislature.
Dennis Roberts died while in surgery for a ruptured aneurysm in Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. He was a Catholic.
Political offices Preceded by
John F. Collins
Mayor of Providence
Walter H. Reynolds
John S. McKiernan
Governor of Rhode Island
Christopher Del Sesto
Governors of Rhode Island
Cooke · Greene · Collins · A. Fenner · H. Smith · Wilbour · J. Fenner · Jones · Knight · Gibbs · J. Fenner · Arnold · Francis · Sprague III · King · J. Fenner · Jackson · Diman · Harris · Anthony · Allen · Dimond · Hoppin · Dyer · Turner · Sprague IV · Cozzens · J. Smith · Burnside · Padelford · Howard · H. Lippitt · Van Zandt · Littlefield · Bourn · Wetmore · Davis · Taft · Ladd · Davis · Ladd · Brown · C. Lippitt · Dyer, Jr. · Gregory · Kimball · Garvin · Utter · Higgins · Pothier · Beeckman · San Souci · Flynn · Pothier · Case · Green · Quinn · Vanderbilt · McGrath · Pastore · McKiernan · Roberts · Del Sesto · Notte · J. Chafee · Licht · Noel · Garrahy · DiPrete · Sundlun · Almond · Carcieri · L. Chafee
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