Phil M. Donnelly

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Phil M. Donnelly
Phil M. Donnelly.jpg
Donnelly in 1945
41st and 43rd Governor of Missouri
In office
January 8, 1945 – January 10, 1949
Lieutenant Walter Naylor Davis
Preceded by Forrest C. Donnell
Succeeded by Forrest Smith
In office
January 12, 1953 – January 14, 1957
Lieutenant James T. Blair, Jr.
Preceded by Forrest Smith
Succeeded by James T. Blair, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1891-03-06)March 6, 1891
Lebanon, Missouri,
United States
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Lebanon, Missouri
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Juanita (McFadden) Donnelly
Alma mater St. Louis University
Profession Attorney
Religion Christian

Philip Matthew "Phil" Donnelly (March 6, 1891 – September 12, 1961) was the 41st and 43rd Governor of Missouri. He was a Democrat. Donnelly and Christopher S. "Kit" Bond are unique in being the only Missouri governors to serve two non-consecutive terms.

Personal history

Donnelly was born in Lebanon, Missouri in 1891, the son of Phil and Margaret (Halloran) Donnelly.[1] Following his graduation from Lebanon High School in 1909 Donnelly attended St. Louis University, earning a law degree in 1913.[2] Donnelly returned to his native Lebanon and entered private practice with J.W. Farris. In 1915 he wed Miss Juanita McFadden. They would have one child, a son David, who himself became an attorney and joined his fathers law practice.[3]

Political history

Soon after his passing of the Missouri Bar and return to Lebanon Donnelly expressed an interest in politics. His first office was that of Lebanon city attorney, followed by election to one term as Laclede County prosecutor.[4] Phil Donnelly entered state politics in 1922 by being elected State Representative for the Laclede County area. After one term in the House he was elected to Missouri State Senate in 1924 and would remain there for the next twenty years.[5] Senator Donnelly became Governor Donnelly for the first time after winning the 1944 gubernatorial race.

Highlights of his first term as governor included overseeing the implementation of a new Missouri state constitution in 1946, creation of the Missouri Department of Revenue, and welcoming international statesman Winston Churchill to Fulton, Missouri for the famous Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College. Missouri law prohibited someone from serving two consecutive terms as governor, so Donnelly was ineligible to run again in 1948. However he ran for governor again in 1952 and won easily. Following his second term, a first in Missouri history, he semi-retired to a law practice in Lebanon with his son. Phil M. Donnelly died September 12, 1961 and is buried in the Lebanon, Missouri city cemetery.[6]



Political offices
Preceded by
Forrest C. Donnell
Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
Forrest Smith
Preceded by
Forrest Smith
Governor of Missouri
Succeeded by
James T. Blair, Jr.