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Philip Henderson Hoff

In office
1963 – 1969
Lieutenant Ralph A. Foote, John J. Daley
Preceded by F. Ray Keyser, Jr.
Succeeded by Deane C. Davis

Born June 29, 1924 (1924-06-29) (age 85)
Turners Falls, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic

Philip Henderson Hoff (born June 29, 1924) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Vermont where he served as the 73rd Governor of Vermont from 1963 to 1969. At the time of his election, he was the first Democrat elected Governor of Vermont in 108 years.

Hoff was born in Turners Falls, Massachusetts and graduated from Williams College in 1948 and from Law School at Cornell University in 1951. He saw combat action during World War II aboard the submarine, USS Sea Dog, in the South Pacific. He moved to Burlington, Vermont in 1951.

After being elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1960, in 1962 Hoff was elected Vermont's first Democratic governor since 1854 by virtue of his energetic campaign and the popularity of President John F. Kennedy. He was reelected in 1964 and 1966 and pioneered unprecedented environmental, development, and social welfare programs. Concerned about racial justice, he joined with New York Mayor John Lindsay to co-found the Vermont-New York Youth Project, which brought minority students from the city together with Vermont students to work on joint summer projects at several Vermont colleges. He was the first Democratic Governor in the nation to split with President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War and later campaigned across the country in Robert Kennedy's effort to obtain the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.

Hoff was criticized for increases in state spending which some claimed led to hefty deficits. In 1970, Hoff challenged incumbent Senator Winston L. Prouty for a Vermont seat in the United States Senate, but he was handily defeated. Some attribute his defeat to his opposition to the Vietnam War and his efforts to promote racial justice.

In the 1980s he returned to elective politics, serving three terms in the Vermont State Senate. He has also served in various advisory and honorary positions and as President of the Board of Trustees at Vermont Law School as well as continuing his work as a lawyer in private practice. In 1989, he was a co-founder of his current law firm, Hoff, Curtis, Pacht, Cassidy, Frame, Somers, and Katims, P.C.

Philip Hoff speaking October 12, 2004

Spouse: Joan Hoff


The Vermont Encyclopedia, J. Duffy, S. Hand Ralph Orth, Editors (University Press of New England, Lebanon, N.H. 2003)



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