|15th Premier of Nova Scotia
April 14, 1954 – September 29, 1954
|Angus L. Macdonald
|MLA for Halifax North
March 2, 1936 – July 28, 1955
|Gordon Benjamin Isnor
|John E. Ahern
|Senator for Halifax North, Nova Scotia
July 28, 1955 – May 14, 1979
|Louis St. Laurent
|Harold Joseph Connolly
8 September 1901
Sydney, Nova Scotia
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|1) Catherine Burns (m. 1928)
2) Vivian Martel
Connolly was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the son of Richard Joseph Connolly and Annie Duffield. He was educated at St. Mary's College. As a newspaperman, he worked for the Halifax Chronicle before serving as editor of the Daily Star.
He was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in a 1936 by-election as a Liberal in Halifax North after Gordon Benjamin Isnor was elected to the House of Commons. He was appointed to cabinet in 1941 as Minister of Industry and Publicity. He served as Minister of Industry and Trade from 1945 to 1950, when he became Minister of Public Health. When Premier Angus L. Macdonald died in 1954, Connolly became the province's premier and the Liberal party's interim leader. A Catholic, he was defeated by Henry Hicks at the party's leadership convention when Protestant delegates formed a united front against a Catholic leader, a move that caused a severe religious split within the party that contributed to its defeat two years later at the hands of Robert Stanfield's Progressive Conservatives.
Connolly retired from provincial politics in 1955 when he was elevated to the Senate of Canada for the Halifax North, Nova Scotia division on 28 July 1955 following nomination by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. He served until his resignation on 14 May 1979.
Connolly was a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and the Canadian Officers' Training Corps from 1940 to 1945.
He married Catherine Burns in 1928; he married Vivian Martel after the death of his first wife. Connolly's daughter Sharon Carstairs has gone on to have a prominent political career as leader of the Manitoba Liberal party and, subsequently, a Liberal Senator before retiring from politics in 2011.