George Docking

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George Docking
35th Governor of Kansas
In office
January 14, 1957 – January 9, 1961
Lieutenant Joseph W. Henkle, Sr.
Preceded by John McCuish
Succeeded by John Anderson, Jr.
Personal details
Born February 23, 1904
Clay Center, Kansas
Died January 20, 1964 (aged 59)
Kansas City, Kansas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Virginia Blackwell
Profession bond salesman, banker, gas businessman
Religion Presbyterian

George Docking (February 23, 1904 – January 20, 1964) was the 35th Governor of Kansas, (1957–1961).


Born in Clay Center, Kansas, Docking was educated in the public schools of Lawrence, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1925. He married Mary Virginia Blackwell, and they had two children.[1]


Docking changed party affiliations when Franklin D. Roosevelt was first nominated for president. In 1952, he became the fundraiser for the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson.

Docking was elected Governor of Kansas in 1956 and reelected in 1958, making him the first member of the Democratic Party to serve more than a single term as governor in Kansas.[2] In the election of 1960 he lost to Republican candidate John Anderson, Jr. perhaps in part because of his stance on the death penalty. He was known to say "I just don't like killing people." His tenure was marked by his battles with a Republican controlled legislature, and a three-year dispute with the Kansas University Chancellor Franklin Murphy was settled, resulting in Murphy's resignation.[1]

Docking was a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him director of the Import-Export Bank of Washington D. C.[2] He served in that office until his death.

Death and legacy

Docking died from emphysema in 1964 in a hospital in Kansas City, Kansas and is interred at the Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.[3] His son Robert Docking served four terms as Governor of Kansas, from 1967 to 1975, and the Docking family remains one of the most prominent in Kansas politics. Docking was a champion amateur tennis player and a master Contract bridge player.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "George Docking". National Governors Association. Retrieved 4 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "George Docking". Kansapedia. Retrieved 4 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "George Docking". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 4 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John McCuish
Governor of Kansas
1957 - 1961
Succeeded by
John Anderson, Jr.