Robert S. Kerr

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Robert Kerr

Robert Samuel Kerr (born September 11, 1896 in Ada , Oklahoma , †  January 1, 1963 in Washington DC ) was an American politician of the Democratic Party . He served as the 12th governor of Oklahoma from 1943 to 1947 and represented his state in the US Senate .

Early years

Robert Kerr attended local schools in his homeland and from 1915 to 1916 the University of Oklahoma . Then he worked as a teacher. During the First World War he was a lieutenant in the US Army. After studying law, he was admitted to the bar in 1922.

Political rise

Between 1921 and 1929 he was a member of the National Guard, where he made it to major. In 1926 he started his own oil company and in 1931 he became a special judge on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Between 1935 and 1938, Kerr was a member of the then unofficial pardon committee of his country. Between 1940 and 1948 he was a member of the Democratic National Committee ; in addition, he became the new governor of his state in 1942 as a democratic candidate.

Governor of Oklahoma

Robert Kerr took up his new post on January 13, 1943, in the middle of World War II. During the war, 41 military facilities and nine prisoner-of-war camps were established in Oklahoma. After the end of the war, production in Oklahoma had to be cut back to meet civilian needs. The returning soldiers had to be reintegrated into society and the relatives of the fallen and the war invalids had to be cared for. Domestically, the electoral law was changed in favor of the Democrats. The until then unofficial pardon committee was officially established as a government body.

In the field of school policy, free textbooks were made available to students. Governor Kerr was a member of several governors 'associations and the Union of the United States' Oil- producing States ( Interstate Oil Compact Commission ). Like his predecessor Leon Phillips , Kerr was also rather critical of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and spoke out against his fourth presidential candidacy in 1944 . Unlike Phillips, however, he remained loyal to his party. At the federal party conference in 1944, he spoke a greeting.

Another résumé

Even after the end of his governorship in January 1947, Kerr remained politically active. Between 1947 and his death on January 1, 1963, he represented his state in the US Senate in Washington. There he was a member of various committees. Robert Kerr was married twice and had a total of four children.


  • Robert Sobel and John Raimo (Eds.): Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789–1978. Volume 3, Meckler Books, Westport, 1978. 4 volumes.

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