The Governor of Massachusetts is the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is supported by a number of subordinate officers. He, like most other state officers, senators, and representatives, was originally elected annually.

Colonial Governors[edit | edit source]

The colonial history of Massachusetts begins with the founding first of the Plymouth Colony in 1620, and then the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1628.

Commonwealth Governors (1780-Present)[edit | edit source]

In the table below, acting governors are denoted in the leftmost column by the letter "A", and are not counted as actual governors. The longest-serving governor was Michael Dukakis, who served twelve years in office, although they were not all consecutive. The longest period of uninterrupted service by any governor was nine years, by Levi Lincoln Jr. The shortest service period by an elected governor was one year, achieved by several 19th century governors. Increase Sumner, elected by a landslide to a third consecutive term in 1799, was on his deathbed and died not long after taking the oath of office; this represents the shortest part of an individual term served by a governor. Sumner was one of four governors to die in office; seven governors resigned, most of them to assume another office.

Political party Number of governors
Democratic 19
Democratic-Republican 6
Federalist 3
Know Nothing 1
National Republican 1
No party affiliation 6
Republican 31
Whig 7
# Governor Party Years Lt. governor Electoral history
1 JohnHancockSmall.jpg John Hancock None October 25, 1780 –
February 17, 1785
Thomas Cushing
(1780–1788)
Resigned due to claimed illness (recurring gout).
A[1] Thomas Cushing, Member of Continental Congress.jpg Thomas Cushing February 17, 1785 –
May 27, 1785
Acted as governor for the remainder of Hancock's term;
Lost election in his own right
2 James Bowdoin II.jpg James Bowdoin May 27, 1785 –
May 30, 1787
Lost re-election
3 JohnHancockSmall.jpg John Hancock May 30, 1787 –
October 8, 1793
Died
Benjamin Lincoln
(1788–1789)
Samuel Adams
(1789–1794)
4 SamuelAdamsSmall.jpeg Samuel Adams October 8, 1793 –
June 2, 1797
Acted as governor for the remainder of Hancock's term;
Elected and re-elected in his own right until retirement
Moses Gill
(1794–1800)
5 IncreaseSumner.jpg Increase Sumner Federalist June 2, 1797 –
June 7, 1799
Died
A[1] Moses Gill - John Singleton Copley, circa 1759.jpg Moses Gill None June 7, 1799 –
May 20, 1800
Acted as governor for most of the remainder of Sumner's term;
Died ten days before its end
A[1] Seal of Massachusetts.svg Governor's Council May 20, 1800 –
May 30, 1800
None The council was headed by Thomas Dawes; this is the only time both gubernatorial offices were vacant.
6 CalebStrong by HenrySandman.jpg Caleb Strong Federalist May 30, 1800 –
May 29, 1807
Samuel Phillips Jr.
(1801–1802)
Lost re-election
Edward Robbins
(1802–1806)
7 James Sullivan.jpg James Sullivan Democratic-
Republican
May 29, 1807 –
December 10, 1808
Levi Lincoln Sr. Died
A[1] LeviLincoln.gif Levi Lincoln Sr. Democratic-
Republican
December 10, 1808 –
May 1, 1809
Acted as governor for the remainder of Sullivan's term;
Lost election in his own right
8 ChristopherGoreByTrumbull.jpg Christopher Gore Federalist May 1, 1809 –
June 10, 1810
David Cobb Lost re-election
9 Elbridge-gerry-painting.jpg Elbridge Gerry Democratic-
Republican
June 10, 1810 –
March 4, 1812
William Gray Lost re-election
10 CalebStrong by HenrySandman.jpg Caleb Strong Federalist March 4, 1812 –
May 30, 1816
William Phillips Jr. Retired
11 Gilbert Stuart, Govenor John Brooks, c. 1820, HAA.jpg John Brooks (1752-1825) Federalist May 30, 1816 –
May 31, 1823
Retired
12 William Eustis.jpg William Eustis Democratic-
Republican
May 31, 1823 –
February 6, 1825
Levi Lincoln Jr.
(1823–1824)
Died
Marcus Morton
(1824–1825)
A[1] Marcus Morton.jpg Marcus Morton Democratic-
Republican
February 6, 1825 –
May 26, 1825
Acted as governor for the remainder of Eustis's term;
Retired
13 LLincolnJr.jpg Levi Lincoln Jr. National
Republican
May 26, 1825 –
January 9, 1834
Thomas L. Winthrop
(1826–1833)
Retired
14 John Davis (Massachusetts Governor).jpg John Davis Whig January 9, 1834 –
March 1, 1835
Samuel Turell Armstrong Resigned to become US Senator
A[1] Samuel Turell Armstrong.png Samuel Turell Armstrong Whig March 1, 1835 –
January 13, 1836
Acted as governor for the remainder of Davis's term;
Lost nomination; lost election as independent
15 Edward Everett.jpg Edward Everett Whig January 13, 1836 –
January 18, 1840
George Hull Lost re-election
16 Marcus Morton.jpg Marcus Morton Democratic January 18, 1840 –
January 7, 1841
Lost re-election
17 John Davis (Massachusetts Governor).jpg John Davis Whig January 7, 1841 –
January 17, 1843
Lost re-election
18 Marcus Morton.jpg Marcus Morton Democratic January 17, 1843 –
January 9, 1844
Henry H. Childs Lost re-election
19 100px George N. Briggs Whig January 9, 1844 –
January 11, 1851
John Reed Jr. Lost re-election
20 George Boutwell, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg George S. Boutwell Democratic January 11, 1851 –
January 14, 1853
Henry W. Cushman Retired
21 JohnCliffordByBenoni.jpg John H. Clifford Whig January 14, 1853 –
January 12, 1854
Elisha Huntington Retired
22 EmoryWashburn.jpg Emory Washburn Whig January 12, 1854 –
January 4, 1855
William C. Plunkett Lost re-election
23 GovHenryJGardner.jpg Henry Gardner Know-Nothing January 4, 1855 –
January 7, 1858
Simon Brown
(1855–1856)
Lost re-election
Henry W. Benchley
(1856–1858)
24 Nathaniel Prentice Banks.jpg Nathaniel Prentice Banks Republican January 7, 1858 –
January 3, 1861
Eliphalet Trask Retired to run for president
25 Houghton MS Am 1084 (59) - Andrew - edit.jpg John Albion Andrew Republican January 3, 1861 –
January 4, 1866
John Z. Goodrich
(1861)
Retired
John Nesmith
(1862)
Joel Hayden
(1863–1866)
26 Alexander H. Bullock.png Alexander H. Bullock Republican January 4, 1866 –
January 7, 1869
William Claflin Retired
27 William Claflin - Brady-Handy.jpg William Claflin Republican January 7, 1869 –
January 4, 1872
Joseph Tucker
(1869–1873)
Retired
28 William washburn.jpg William B. Washburn Republican January 4, 1872 –
April 29, 1874
Resigned to become US Senator
Thomas Talbot
(1873–1875)
A[1] GovThomasTalbot.jpg Thomas Talbot Republican April 29, 1874 –
January 7, 1875
Acted as governor for the remainder of Washburn's term;
Lost election in his own right
29 GovWilliamGaston.jpg William Gaston Democratic January 7, 1875 –
January 6, 1876
Horatio G. Knight Lost re-election
30 AHRice.jpg Alexander H. Rice Republican January 6, 1876 –
January 2, 1879
Retired
31 GovThomasTalbot.jpg Thomas Talbot Republican January 2, 1879 –
January 8, 1880
John Davis Long Retired
32 JDLong.jpg John Davis Long Republican January 8, 1880 –
January 4, 1883
Byron Weston Retired
33 BenFrankButler.jpg Benjamin F. Butler Democratic January 4, 1883 –
January 3, 1884
Oliver Ames Lost re-election
34 GovGeorgeDRobinson.jpg George D. Robinson Republican January 3, 1884 –
January 6, 1887
Retired
35 Oliver Ames 1831–1895.jpg Oliver Ames Republican January 6, 1887 –
January 7, 1890
John Q. A. Brackett Retired
36 JohnQABrackett.jpg John Q. A. Brackett Republican January 7, 1890 –
January 8, 1891
William H. Haile
(1890–1893)
Lost re-election
37 GovWilliamERussell.jpg William E. Russell Democratic January 8, 1891 –
January 4, 1894
Retired
Roger Wolcott
(1893–1897)
38 Frederick T. Greenhalge.jpg Frederic T. Greenhalge Republican January 4, 1894 –
March 5, 1896
Died
39 Roger Wolcott by Frederic Porter Vinton.jpg Roger Wolcott Republican March 5, 1896 –
January 4, 1900
Acted as governor for the remainder of Greenhalge's term;
Elected and re-elected in own right until retirement
Winthrop Murray Crane
(1897–1900)
40 Winthrop Murray Crane.jpg Winthrop Murray Crane Republican January 4, 1900 –
January 8, 1903
John L. Bates Retired
41 GovJohnLBates.jpg John L. Bates Republican January 8, 1903 –
January 5, 1905
Curtis Guild Jr. Retired
42 WilliamLewisDouglas.jpg William L. Douglas Democratic January 5, 1905 –
January 4, 1906
Retired
43 Curtis Guild Jr.jpg Curtis Guild Jr. Republican January 4, 1906 –
January 7, 1909
Eben Sumner Draper Retired
44 Ebenezer Sumner Draper crop.jpg Eben Sumner Draper Republican January 7, 1909 –
January 5, 1911
Louis A. Frothingham Lost re-election
45 Governor Foss.png Eugene Noble Foss Democratic January 5, 1911 –
January 8, 1914
Louis A. Frothingham
(1911–1912)
Did not stand for renomination as Democrat; defeated as independent in general election
Robert Luce
(1912–1913)
David I. Walsh
(1913–1914)
46 David Ignatius Walsh.jpg David I. Walsh Democratic January 8, 1914 –
January 6, 1916
Edward P. Barry
(1914–1915)
Lost re-election
Grafton D. Cushing
(1915–1916)
47 SamuelMcCall.jpg Samuel W. McCall Republican January 6, 1916 –
January 2, 1919
Calvin Coolidge Retired
48 John Calvin Coolidge, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg Calvin Coolidge Republican January 2, 1919 –
January 6, 1921
Channing H. Cox Retired to run successfully for U.S. Vice President
49 Channing H Cox.png Channing H. Cox Republican January 6, 1921 –
January 8, 1925
Alvan T. Fuller Elected in 1920 (first two-year term);
Re-elected in 1922;
Retired
50 Alvin T Fuller.png Alvan T. Fuller Republican January 8, 1925 –
January 3, 1929
Frank G. Allen Retired
51 Frank G Allen.png Frank G. Allen Republican January 3, 1929 –
January 8, 1931
William S. Youngman Lost re-election
52 Joseph Buell Ely.jpg Joseph B. Ely Democratic January 8, 1931 –
January 3, 1935
William S. Youngman
(1929–1933)
Retired
Gaspar G. Bacon
(1933–1935)
53 James Michael Curley.jpg James Michael Curley Democratic January 3, 1935 –
January 7, 1937
Joseph L. Hurley Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate
54 Charles Francis Hurley 1937.png Charles F. Hurley Democratic January 7, 1937 –
January 5, 1939
Francis E. Kelly Lost renomination
55 LeverettSaltonstall.jpg Leverett Saltonstall Republican January 5, 1939 –
January 3, 1945
Horace T. Cahill Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senate
56 Mjtobin.jpg Maurice J. Tobin Democratic January 3, 1945 –
January 2, 1947
Robert F. Bradford Lost re-election
57 Robert F. Bradford (Massachusetts Governor).jpg Robert F. Bradford Republican January 2, 1947 –
January 6, 1949
Arthur W. Coolidge Elected in 1946;
Lost re-election
58 PaulADever.jpg Paul A. Dever Democratic January 6, 1949 –
January 8, 1953
Charles F. Sullivan Elected in 1948;
Re-elected in 1950;
Lost re-election
59 Christian Archibald Herter (politician).jpg Christian A. Herter Republican January 8, 1953 –
January 3, 1957
Sumner G. Whittier Elected in 1952;
Re-elected in 1954;
Retired
60 Foster Furcolo.jpg Foster Furcolo Democratic January 3, 1957 –
January 5, 1961
Robert F. Murphy
(1957–1960)
Elected in 1956;
Re-elected in 1958;
Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate
61 Volpe.gif John A. Volpe Republican January 5, 1961 –
January 3, 1963
Edward F. McLaughlin Jr. Elected in 1960;
Lost re-election
62 Endicott Peabody Gov.jpg Endicott Peabody Democratic January 3, 1963 –
January 7, 1965
Francis X. Bellotti Elected in 1962;
Lost renomination
63 Volpe.gif John A. Volpe Republican January 7, 1965 –
January 22, 1969
Elliot Richardson
(1965–1967)
Elected in 1964;
Re-elected in 1966 (first four-year term);
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Francis W. Sargent
(1967–1969)
64 Governor Francis Sargent.jpg Francis W. Sargent Republican January 22, 1969 –
January 2, 1975
Acted as governor for the remainder of Volpe's term;
elected in own right in 1970;
Lost re-election
Donald R. Dwight
(1971–1975)
65 Governor Dukakis speaks at the 1976 Democratic National Convention (cropped).jpg Michael Dukakis Democratic January 2, 1975 –
January 4, 1979
Thomas P. O'Neill III Elected in 1974;
Lost renomination
66 Edward J. King.jpg Edward J. King Democratic January 4, 1979 –
January 6, 1983
Elected in 1978;
Lost renomination
67 Dukakis1988rally cropped.jpg Michael Dukakis Democratic January 6, 1983 –
January 3, 1991
John Kerry
(1983–1985)
Elected in 1982;
Elected in 1986;
Retired
Vacant
(1985–1987)
Evelyn Murphy
(1987–1991)
68 WilliamWeld.jpg William F. Weld Republican January 3, 1991 –
July 29, 1997
Paul Cellucci
(1991–1999)
Elected in 1990;
Re-elected in 1994;
Resigned when nominated U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, but was not confirmed to the office.
A[1]
69
Cellucci paul.jpg Paul Cellucci Republican July 29, 1997 –
April 10, 2001
Acted as governor for the remainder of Weld's term;
elected in own right in 1998;
Resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Canada
Jane Swift
A[1] Jane Swift 2001.jpeg Jane Swift Republican April 10, 2001 –
January 2, 2003
Acted as governor for the remainder of Cellucci's term;
Retired
70 Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 7.jpg Mitt Romney Republican January 2, 2003 –
January 4, 2007
Kerry Healey Elected in 2002;
Retired
71 Deval Patrick 01-12-2011 Alianza Chile-Massachusetts (6443374287) (cropped).jpg Deval Patrick Democratic January 4, 2007 –
January 8, 2015
Tim Murray
(2007–2013)
Elected in 2006;
Re-elected in 2010;
Retired
Vacant
72 Charlie Baker official portrait.jpg Charlie Baker Republican January 8, 2015 –
present
Karyn Polito Elected in 2014

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Acting governors are not counted.
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