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Jewish Governors

Updated June 14, 2019 18.9k views26 items
A list of famous Jewish Governors, with photos, throughout US history. These are important political Jews who have taken part in running states within the United States government. There was a time when an American Jewish politician was rare or even unheard of. Today, although still a minority, the concept of "Jews in politics", a Jew seeking public office, is hardly unusual. Although less than 2.5% of the US population is Jewish, 10% of the US Senate follow the Judaic faith, and almost 7% of the House of Representatives. Clearly this Jewish governors list will continue to grow, and US "blue states" that lean Democratic are by far the most likely states to elect a Jew to run things. We can take heart that the anti-Semitism of the past is falling aside to more modern ideals.
  • Dec. at 60 (1873-1933)
    Arthur Seligman (June 14, 1871 – September 25, 1933) was an American businessman and politician. He served in several offices in New Mexico, including mayor of Santa Fe and governor.  ...more
  • Dec. at 91 (1920-2011)
    Bruce Sundlun (born Bruce George Sundlun; January 19, 1920 – July 21, 2011) was an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who served as 71st Governor of Rhode Island between 1991 and  ...more
  • Dec. at 64 (1744-1808)
    David Emanuel (1744 – February 19, 1808) became 24th Governor of Georgia on March 3, 1801 upon the resignation of James Jackson to become U.S. Senator from Georgia. Emanuel served until November 7,  ...more
  • Age: 76
    Edward Gene Rendell (; born January 5, 1944) is an American lawyer, prosecutor, politician, and author who, as a member of the Democratic Party, served as the 45th Governor of Pennsylvania from 2003  ...more
  • Dec. at 76 (1836-1913)
    Edward Selig Salomon (December 25, 1836 – July 18, 1913) was a German Jew who immigrated to the United States and served as a lieutenant colonel in Union in the American Civil War. After nomination  ...more
  • Dec. at 80 (1828-1909)
    Edward Salomon (August 11, 1828 – April 21, 1909) was a German American politician and the 8th Governor of Wisconsin, having ascended to office from the Lieutenant Governorship after the accidental  ...more
  • Eliot Laurence Spitzer (born June 10, 1959) is an American politician, attorney, and educator. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 54th Governor of New York. After serving for six  ...more
  • Dec. at 87 (1887-1974)
    Ernest Henry Gruening ( GREEN-ing; February 6, 1887 – June 26, 1974) was an American journalist and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Gruening was the Governor of the Alaska Territory  ...more
  • Dec. at 71 (1916-1987)
    Frank R. Licht (March 3, 1916 – May 30, 1987) was an American politician and the 67th Governor of Rhode Island from 1969 to 1973, serving as the first Jewish governor in Rhode Island state history.  ...more
  • George Felix Allen (born March 8, 1952) is an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 67th Governor of Virginia from 1994 to 1998 and as a United States Senator from  ...more
  • Dec. at 62 (1878-1940)
    Henry Horner (November 30, 1878 – October 6, 1940) was an American politician. Horner served as the 28th Governor of Illinois, serving from January 1933 until his death in October 1940. Horner was  ...more
  • Dec. at 85 (1878-1963)
    Herbert Henry Lehman (March 28, 1878 – December 5, 1963) was a Democratic Party politician from New York. He served from 1933 until 1942 as the 45th Governor of New York and represented New York  ...more
  • Jack Alan Markell (born November 26, 1960) is an American former businessman and politician who served as the 73rd Governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2017. He is a member of the Democratic  ...more
  • Dec. at 63 (1874-1937)
    Julius L. Meier (December 31, 1874 – July 14, 1937) was an American businessman, civic leader, and politician in the state of Oregon. The son of the Meier & Frank department store founder, he would  ...more
  • Linda Lingle (née Cutter; June 4, 1953) is an American politician, who was the sixth governor of Hawaii from 2002 until 2010. She was the first Republican governor of Hawaii since 1962. Lingle was  ...more
  • Madeleine May Kunin (born September 28, 1933) is an American diplomat, author and politician. She served as the 77th Governor of Vermont from 1985 until 1991, as a member of the Democratic Party. She  ...more
  • Marvin Mandel (April 19, 1920 – August 30, 2015) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 56th Governor of Maryland from January 7, 1969 to January 17, 1979, including a  ...more
  • Dec. at 82 (1912-1994)
    Milton Jerrold Shapp (June 25, 1912 – November 24, 1994) was the 40th Governor of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania from 1971 to 1979 and the first Jewish governor of Pennsylvania. He was also the first  ...more
  • Dec. at 78 (1853-1932)
    Moses Alexander (November 13, 1853 – January 4, 1932) was the 11th Governor of Idaho, the second elected Jewish governor of a U.S. state, and the first who actually practiced that religion. He served  ...more
  • Neil Edward Goldschmidt (born June 16, 1940) is an American businessman and Democratic politician from the state of Oregon who held local, state and federal offices over three decades. After serving  ...more
  • Dec. at 80 (1907-1987)
    Samuel Harvey Shapiro (born Israel Shapiro; April 25, 1907 – March 16, 1987) was the 34th Governor of Illinois, serving from 1968 to 1969. He was a member of the Democratic Party.  ...more
  • Dec. at 80 (1846-1926)
    Simon Bamberger (February 27, 1845 – October 6, 1926) was the fourth Governor of Utah (1917–1921) after it achieved statehood from territorial status in 1896. Bamberger retains the distinction of  ...more
  • Dec. at 63 (1824-1887)
    Washington Montgomery Bartlett (February 29, 1824 – September 12, 1887) was the 20th mayor of San Francisco, California from 1883 to 1887, the 16th governor of California, and – to date – the only  ...more