Military Wiki
William Bradley Umstead
United States Senator
from North Carolina

In office
December 18, 1946 – December 30, 1948
Appointed by R. Gregg Cherry
Preceded by Josiah Bailey
Succeeded by J. Melville Broughton
63rd Governor of North Carolina

In office
January 8, 1953 – November 7, 1954
Lieutenant Luther H. Hodges
Preceded by W. Kerr Scott
Succeeded by Luther H. Hodges
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th district

In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1939
Preceded by J. Bayard Clark
Succeeded by Carl T. Durham
Personal details
Born May 13, 1895
Mangum Township, Durham County, North Carolina
Died November 7, 1954 (aged 59)
Durham, North Carolina
Resting place Mount Tabor Church Cemetery

Durham, North Carolina

Political party Democratic
Alma mater The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Trinity College
Profession Law
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1917–1918
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I

William Bradley Umstead (May 13, 1895 – November 7, 1954) was an American Senator and the 63rd Governor of the state of North Carolina from 1953 to 1954.

He was born in the northern Durham County town of Bahama in 1895. In 1916, Umstead earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Philanthropic Society.

Umstead taught high school history for approximately one school year before joining the army after the U.S. entry into World War I. He served as an officer and saw combat in France; Umstead was discharged in 1919 as a first lieutenant. He almost immediately entered law school at Trinity College (today, Duke University). Umstead was a prosecutor for most of his legal career and served as the elected solicitor (today called district attorney) for a five-county district from 1927 to 1933.

He served from 1933 to 1939 in the United States House of Representatives, choosing not to seek re-election in 1938. Umstead was chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party for several years until he was appointed to fill a vacant United States Senate seat in 1946. Defeated for a Senate term of his own in 1948, Umstead ran for governor in 1952 and won. However, on 10 January 1953, only two days after his inauguration, Umstead was crippled by a heart attack.

In June, 1954, Umstead appointed Sam Ervin to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Clyde Hoey, who had died in office.

He was constantly in ill health until his death nearly two years after his 1953 heart attack, upon which he was succeeded as governor by Luther H. Hodges.[1] Umstead is buried in the Mount Tabor Church Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina.

William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina was named in his honor in 1966.[2]


External links[]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. Bayard Clark
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1933-January 3, 1939
Succeeded by
Carl T. Durham
United States Senate
Preceded by
Josiah William Bailey
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from North Carolina
December 18, 1946– December 30, 1948
Served alongside: Clyde Roark Hoey
Succeeded by
Joseph Melville Broughton
Political offices
Preceded by
W. Kerr Scott
Governor of North Carolina
January 8, 1953– November 7, 1954
Succeeded by
Luther H. Hodges

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