List of Governors of North Carolina

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The following is a list of governors or chief executives for the U.S. state of North Carolina. See also History of North Carolina.

Provincial Council (American Revolution)[edit]

The 13-member Provincial Council, renamed the Council of Safety in April 1776, was essentially the executive authority during the second year of the Revolution, and was appointed by the Provincial Congress. The Presidency of the Council and the Presidency of the Congress could each be considered the highest offices in the state during this time, but the council was supreme when the congress was not in session. [1]

State of North Carolina, 1776-present[edit]

After the current state constitution was ratified in 1971, governors are limited to two consecutive terms in office; they had previously been limited to one term. [2]

#NameTook officeLeft officePartyNotes
1Richard CaswellNovember 12, 1776April 20, 1780No party
2Abner NashApril 20, 1780June 26, 1781No party
3Thomas BurkeJune 26, 1781April 22, 1782No party
4Alexander MartinApril 22, 1782May 13, 1785No party
5Richard CaswellMay 13, 1785December 20, 1787No party
6Samuel JohnstonDecember 20, 1787December 17, 1789Federalist
7Alexander MartinDecember 17, 1789December 14, 1792Anti-Federalist
8Richard Dobbs SpaightDecember 14, 1792November 19, 1795Federalist
9Samuel AsheNovember 19, 1795December 7, 1798Anti-Federalist
10William Richardson DavieDecember 7, 1798November 23, 1799Federalist
11Benjamin WilliamsNovember 23, 1799December 6, 1802Federalist
12James TurnerDecember 6, 1802December 10, 1805Democratic-Republican[3]
13Nathaniel AlexanderDecember 10, 1805December 1, 1807Democratic-Republican
14Benjamin WilliamsDecember 1, 1807December 12, 1808Federalist
15David StoneDecember 12, 1808December 1, 1810Democratic-Republican
16Benjamin SmithDecember 1, 1810December 11, 1811Democratic-Republican
17William HawkinsDecember 11, 1811November 29, 1814Democratic-Republican
18William MillerNovember 29, 1814December 6, 1817Democratic-Republican
19John BranchDecember 6, 1817December 7, 1820Democratic-Republican
20Jesse FranklinDecember 7, 1820December 7, 1821Democratic-Republican
21Gabriel HolmesDecember 7, 1821December 7, 1824Democratic-Republican
22Hutchins Gordon BurtonDecember 7, 1824December 8, 1827No party
23James Iredell, Jr.December 8, 1827December 12, 1828Democratic-Republican
24John OwenDecember 12, 1828December 18, 1830Democratic
25Montfort StokesDecember 18, 1830December 6, 1832Democratic
26David Lowry SwainDecember 6, 1832December 10, 1835National Republican
27Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr.December 10, 1835December 31, 1836Democratic
28Edward Bishop DudleyDecember 31, 1836January 1, 1841Whig
29John Motley MoreheadJanuary 1, 1841January 1, 1845Whig
30William Alexander GrahamJanuary 1, 1845January 1, 1849Whig
31Charles ManlyJanuary 1, 1849January 1, 1851Whig
32David Settle ReidJanuary 1, 1851December 6, 1854Democratic
33Warren WinslowDecember 6, 1854January 1, 1855Democratic
34Thomas BraggJanuary 1, 1855January 1, 1859Democratic
35John Willis EllisJanuary 1, 1859July 7, 1861Democratic
36Henry Toole ClarkJuly 7, 1861September 8, 1862Democratic
37Zebulon Baird VanceSeptember 8, 1862May 29, 1865Conservative
38William Woods HoldenMay 29, 1865December 15, 1865National Union[4]
39Jonathan WorthDecember 15, 1865July 1, 1868Conservative
40William Woods HoldenJuly 1, 1868December 15, 1870Republican
41Tod Robinson CaldwellDecember 15, 1870July 11, 1874Republican
42Curtis Hooks BrogdenJuly 11, 1874January 1, 1877Republican
43Zebulon Baird VanceJanuary 1, 1877February 5, 1879Democratic
44Thomas Jordan JarvisFebruary 5, 1879January 21, 1885Democratic
45Alfred Moore ScalesJanuary 21, 1885January 17, 1889Democratic
46Daniel Gould FowleJanuary 17, 1889April 7, 1891Democratic
47Thomas Michael HoltApril 7, 1891January 18, 1893Democratic
48Elias CarrJanuary 18, 1893January 12, 1897Democratic
49Daniel Lindsay RussellJanuary 12, 1897January 15, 1901Republican[5]
50Charles Brantley AycockJanuary 15, 1901January 11, 1905Democratic
51Robert Broadnax GlennJanuary 11, 1905January 12, 1909Democratic
52William Walton KitchinJanuary 12, 1909January 15, 1913Democratic
53Locke CraigJanuary 15, 1913January 11, 1917Democratic
54Thomas Walter BickettJanuary 11, 1917January 12, 1921Democratic
55Cameron MorrisonJanuary 12, 1921January 14, 1925Democratic
56Angus Wilton McLeanJanuary 14, 1925January 11, 1929Democratic
57Oliver Max GardnerJanuary 11, 1929January 5, 1933Democratic
58John C.B. EhringhausJanuary 5, 1933January 7, 1937Democratic
59Clyde R. HoeyJanuary 7, 1937January 9, 1941Democratic
60J. Melville BroughtonJanuary 9, 1941January 4, 1945Democratic
61R. Gregg CherryJanuary 4, 1945January 6, 1949Democratic
62W. Kerr ScottJanuary 6, 1949January 8, 1953Democratic
63William B. UmsteadJanuary 8, 1953November 7, 1954Democratic
64Luther H. HodgesNovember 7, 1954January 5, 1961Democratic
65Terry SanfordJanuary 5, 1961January 8, 1965Democratic
66Dan K. MooreJanuary 8, 1965January 3, 1969Democratic
67Robert W. ScottJanuary 3, 1969January 5, 1973Democratic
68James E. Holshouser, Jr.January 5, 1973January 8, 1977Republican
69James B. Hunt, Jr.January 8, 1977January 5, 1985Democratic
70James G. MartinJanuary 5, 1985January 9, 1993Republican
71James B. Hunt, Jr.January 9, 1993January 6, 2001Democratic
72Mike EasleyJanuary 6, 2001January 10, 2009Democratic
73Beverly PerdueJanuary 10, 2009January 5, 2013Democratic[6]
74Pat McCroryJanuary 5, 2013incumbentRepublican


  1. ^ R. D. W. Connor (Robert Digges Wimberly), 1878-1950, ed. A Manual of North Carolina Issued by the North Carolina Historical Commission for the Use of the Members of the General Assembly Session 1913
  2. ^
  3. ^ John Baptista Ashe was elected in 1802 to succeed Williams but died before he could take office, leading the legislature to elect Turner.
  4. ^ Provisional Governor appointed by President Andrew Johnson until a special election could be held.
  5. ^ Russell, while a Republican, was supported by many in the Populist Party as part of an electoral fusion coalition, though a separate Populist candidate was also nominated.
  6. ^ Beverly Perdue was elected to be the first female governor of North Carolina in the election of 2008.

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented North Carolina except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

NameGubernatorial termU.S. CongressOther offices held
Alexander Martin1782–1784; 1789–1792S
Samuel Johnston1787–1789S*
Richard Dobbs Spaight1792–1795HDelegate to Philadelphia Convention and signer of the United States Constitution
William Richardson Davie1798–1799Delegate to Philadelphia Convention
Benjamin Williams1799–1802; 1807–1808H
James Turner1802–1805S
Nathaniel Alexander1805–1807H
David Stone1808–1810HS
John Branch1817–1820SUnited States Secretary of the Navy; Governor of Florida Territory
Jesse Franklin1820–1821HS
Gabriel Holmes1821–1824H
Hutchins Gordon Burton1824–1827H
James Iredell, Jr.1830–1832S*
Montfort Stokes1830–1832S
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr.1835–1836H
Edward Bishop Dudley1836–1841H
William Alexander Graham1845–1849SUnited States Secretary of the Navy; Confederate Senator
David Settle Reid1851–1854HS*
Warren Winslow1854–1855H
Thomas Bragg1855–1859SConfederate States Attorney General
Zebulon Baird Vance1862–1865; 1877–79S*
Curtis Hooks Brogden1874–1877H
Thomas Jordan Jarvis1879–1885SUnited States Minister to Brazil
Alfred Moore Scales1885–1889H
Daniel Lindsay Russell1897–1901H
William Walton Kitchin1909–1913H
Cameron Morrison1921–1925HS
Oliver Max Gardner1929–1933U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury
Clyde R. Hoey1937–1941HS
J. Melville Broughton1941–1945S
W. Kerr Scott1949–1953S
William B. Umstead1953–1954HS
Luther H. Hodges1954–1961United States Secretary of Commerce
Terry Sanford1961–1965S
Jim Martin1985–1993H

Living former governors[edit]

As of August 2014, four former governors were alive, the oldest being James G. Martin (1985–1993, born 1935). The most recent governor to die, and the most recently serving governor to die, was James Holshouser (1973–1977), on June 17, 2013.

NameGubernatorial termDate of birth
James G. Martin1985–1993(1935-12-11) December 11, 1935 (age 78)
James B. Hunt, Jr.1977–1985,
(1937-05-16) May 16, 1937 (age 77)
Mike Easley2001–2009(1950-03-23) March 23, 1950 (age 64)
Beverly Perdue2009–2013(1947-01-14) January 14, 1947 (age 67)

External links[edit]