Charles Edison ( born August 3, 1890 in West Orange, New Jersey; † July 31, 1969 in New York City ) was an American politician and 1941-1944 Governor of the State of New Jersey. Previously, he served in 1940 as U.S. Secretary of the Navy under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Early years and economic advancement
Charles Edison was a son of Thomas Alva Edison. He attended Carteret Academy and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. Then he studied until 1913 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After completing his studies, he worked for the company of his family, the Thomas A. Edison, Inc., whose president he became in 1927. This office he held until 1957, when the company merged with the McCraw Electric Company; to 1961, he remained on the board of the new company.
Edison was against the family tradition, a member of the Democratic Party. In the 1930s he was head of the National Emergency Committee ( National Emergency Council) in New Jersey. In 1937 he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Navy of the United States. Between 2 January and 24 June 1940, he was a Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet Roosevelt. During this time he proposed the construction of the so-called Iowa - class battleships, among which were then used in the Second World War. In June, he resigned from this post in order to concentrate on his campaign for the office of Governor of New Jersey. On November 5, 1940 he was also appointed as the new governor.
Governor of New Jersey
During his tenure, the anti-discrimination laws were tightened and set up an arbitration committee. It was also discussed at that time on a reform of the constitution. However, these plans were not yet implement politically. Otherwise Edison's reign was overshadowed by the events of the Second World War. Since December 1941 wartime measures had to be taken also in New Jersey. In this context, the budget of the National Guard has been increased. Young men were mustered and delivered to the armed forces and the industrial production was switched to the armament requirement.
At the end of his tenure, Edison withdrew from politics. But he remained active in his company. In 1948 he founded a charitable foundation, which became known under the name " Charles Edison Fund". In 1967 he was involved in the establishment of a foundation for young people, which after him was called " Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund " later. 1962 Edison was also one of the founders of the Conservative Party in New York State. Charles Edison died on 31 July 1969. He was married to Carolyn Hawkins.