Clyde Roark Hoey

53rd Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1937 to 1941

Date Born: December 11, 1877

Date Died: May 12, 1954

Place Born: Shelby, NC

Place Buried: Sunset Cemetery in Shelby, NC

Residence: Shelby, NC

Occupation: Lawyer, Newpaperman


Clyde Roark Hoey was born on December 11, 1877 in Shelby, NC, the son of Samuel Alberta Hoey and Mary Charlotte (Roark) Hoey. He attended public school until age twelve. He then worked on his family's farm and bought a weekly newspaper - the Cleveland Star - when he was sixteen years old. He retained ownership until 1908.

Clyde Roark Hoey read law in Shelby, NC, then continued his legal studies at the University of North Carolina from June to September 1899. The same year he was admitted to the North Carolina bar. A growing law practice forced him to give up his work at his newspaper.

In 1899, Clyde Roark Hoey was first elected to represent Cleveland County in the NC House of Representatives of the:
- 93rd General Assembly that met in 1899
- 94th General Assembly that met in 1901

On March 22, 1900, Clyde Roark Hoey married Bessie Gardner, daughter of Oliver Perry Gardner and Margaret (Young) Gardner, and sister of Gov. Oliver Maxwell Gardner; they had three children.

In 1902, Clyde Roark Hoey was first elected as one of two me to represent the NC 33rd Senate District (Cleveland County, Henderson County, Polk County, and Rutherford County) in the NC Senate of the
- 95th General Assembly that met in 1903

From 1903 to 1909, Clyde Roark Hoey served as Chairman of the Cleveland County Democratic Executive Committee.

In 1913, Clyde Roark Hoey was elected as U.S. Assistant Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, a position he retained until 1919.

On December, 16, 1919, Clyde Roark Hoey was elected to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 66th U.S. Congress, filling a vacancy caused by the resignation of Edwin Y. Webb, and he served until March 3, 1921. He did not seek re-election.

During his temporary absence from politics, Clyde Roark Hoey resumed his law practice in Shelby, NC.

In the 1936 general election, Clyde Roark Hoey was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina. He served one term from January 7, 1937 to January 9, 1941. During the Gov. Hoey administration the state began furnishing free textbooks for elementary school children, a pay increase for teachers was approved, the highway system was expanded, the first advertising and publicity program for tourism and industry was established, graduate courses were offered in black colleges, a modern parole system was developed, child labor laws were passed by the General Assembly, and the State Bureau of Investigation was established.

Clyde Roark Hoey was a Mason and a member of the Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World, Knights of Pythias, Junior Order, and Omicron Delta Kappa and Sigma Chi fraternities.

In 1944, Clyde Roark Hoey was elected to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. He served two terms from January 3, 1945 until his death. Clyde Roark Hoey died in his Senate office on May 12, 1954, and he was later buried in the Sunset Cemetery in Shelby, NC.


Clyde Roark Hoey (11 December 1877 -- 12 May 1954) was the Democratic governor of the state of North Carolina from 1937 to 1941. Hoey later served as a Democratic US Senator from 1945 until his death in 1954. He was also a member of the US House of Representatives from 1919 to 1921.
Hoey, Clyde Roark, a Representative and a Senator from North Carolina; born in Shelby, Cleveland County, N.C., on December 11, 1877; attended the public schools; learned the printing trade and later became, at the age of sixteen, owner, editor and publisher of the Cleveland Star; graduated from the law department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; admitted to the bar in 1899 and commenced the practice of law in Shelby, N.C.; member, State house of commons 1898-1902; member, State senate 1902-1904; assistant United States attorney for the western district of North Carolina 1913-1919; elected on December 16, 1919, as a Democrat to the Sixty-sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Edwin Y. Webb and served from December 16, 1919, to March 3, 1921; was not a candidate for renomination in 1920; resumed the practice of law; Governor of North Carolina 1937-1941; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1944; reelected in 1950 and served from January 3, 1945, until his death in his Senate office in Washington, D.C., May 12, 1954; interment in Sunset Cemetery, Shelby, N.C.
Clyde Roark Hoey, governor of North Carolina, was born in Shelby, NC on December 11, 1877. His early education was attained in the local public schools. At the age of twelve, he left school to become a printer’s apprentice. Four years later, he became the owner and editor of the Cleveland Star. He also continued his education, enrolling at the University of North Carolina, where he studied law. Hoey first entered politics as a member of the NC House of Representatives, a position he held from 1898 to 1902. He also served in the NC State Senate from 1902 to 1904; was the U.S. Assistant Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina from 1913 to 1919; and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1919 to 1921. Hoey next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1936 general election. During his tenure, teacher salaries were improved; graduate programs were initiated in black colleges; the state’s highway system was advanced; and industrial development was promoted. After leaving the governorship, Hoey continued to stay active in politics. He was a member of the U.S. Senate, serving from 1945 until his death on May 12, 1954. Clyde R. Hoey was buried in the Sunset Cemetery in Shelby, NC.

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