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Charles S. Whitman: Wikis


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Charles Seymour Whitman

In office
1915 – 1918
Lieutenant Edward Schoeneck
Preceded by Martin H. Glynn
Succeeded by Alfred E. Smith

Born September 29, 1868(1868-09-29)
Village of Hanover, in the Town of Sprague, Connecticut
Died March 29, 1947 (aged 78)
Political party Republican
Religion Presbyterian

Charles Seymour Whitman (September 29, 1868 – March 29, 1947) served as the 41st Governor of New York from January 1915 to December 1918. He was also a delegate to Republican National Convention from New York in 1916. Whitman graduated from Williams College, class of 1890. Prior to his election as governor, he served as a New York City municipal judge and as Manhattan District Attorney. As District Attorney, he gained national fame in prosecuting New York City Police Lt. Charles Becker for the July 16, 1912 murder of Times Square gambling house operator Herman Rosenthal in front of West 43rd Street's Hotel Metropole (owned by Lower East Side Tammany Hall leader "Big Tim" Sullivan). Later, as Governor, Whitman signed Becker's death warrant and presided over his electrocution.



Whitman was a member of the Union League Club of New York and, fearing he was under surveillance, used the clubhouse to secretly interview witnesses during the Becker case.

In 1916, Whitman won re-election as Governor against reform Democratic Judge Samuel Seabury. In 1918, he was defeated for re-election by Tammany Hall Democrat Alfred E. Smith (then President of the New York City Board of Aldermen.)

His grandson, John R. Whitman, married Christine Todd, who went on to be a Republican Governor of New Jersey and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

See also


Further reading

  • Robert Slayton's biography, Empire Statesman: the Rise and Redemption of Al Smith, discusses Whitman's governorship and campaigns for the office against Smith.[1]
  • Whitman is a character in E.L. Doctorow's historical novel Ragtime (although he does not figure significantly in the later film based on the novel).


  1. ^ Robert A. Slayton, Empire Statesman: The Rise and Redemption of Al Smith (New York, 2001: The Free Press; ISBN 978-0684863023), especially pages 116 to 121.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
William Travers Jerome
District Attorney - New York County, New York
Succeeded by
Charles Albert Perkins
Political offices
Preceded by
Martin H. Glynn
Governor of New York
1915 - 1918
Succeeded by
Al Smith


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