LeRoy Collins

Thomas LeRoy Collins ( born March 10, 1909 in Tallahassee, Florida, † 12 March 1991 ) was an American politician and from 1955 to 1961 the 33rd Governor of Florida.

Early years and political rise

LeRoy Collins attended Leon High School in Tallahassee and the Eastman School of Business in New York City. Subsequently, he studied until 1931 at Cumberland University in Birmingham, Alabama law. Since 1935, Collins was politically active. Between 1935 and 1940 he was a deputy of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives from Florida. The next 13 years until 1953 he spent in the state Senate. In 1954, extraordinary gubernatorial elections were held in Florida, which had become necessary (died September 28, 1953) by the death of 1952 elected Governor Daniel McCarty. While Senate President Charley Johns had taken constitutionally the official duties of the governor at his death, but the Constitution demanded a new election to the governor for the remainder of McCarty's term of office to be determined. This election took place in 1954 and Collins succeeded within the party against Johns enforce. He not only received the nomination of the party but he also managed the election victory. Since he still had not completed any full term he was allowed to run again at the end of his first " half term " in 1956 and can be selected for full four years as governor.

Governor of Florida

So LeRoy Collins tenure lasted a total of six years from January 1955 to January 1961. That was until then the longest continuous tenure of a governor of Florida have been if one disregards the territorial Governor William Pope Duval, who had officiated twelve years 1822-1834. As governor he promoted the education policy, particularly the public school system. He supported both the industry and the agriculture of his country and he promoted the tourism that is increasingly represented an important source of income. While in many southern states of the United States came to race riots in the context of the civil rights movement in these years, the situation remained in Florida, with a few exceptions largely relaxed. This was also, and especially at the moderate attitude of the governor to the race question of the day. Collins was also chairman of the National Governor Association and the Association of Governors of the Southern States.

Further CV

After the end of his term in January 1961, he remained politically active. In the following years he took part in some offices of the federal government in Washington. He was, for example, from 1965 to 1966 Deputy U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the meantime he became a partner in a law firm in Tampa and in 1968, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate. After he retired from politics. He died in March 1991. LeRoy Collis was married to Mary Call Darby with whom he had four children.