Alvan Tufts Fuller
Painting: by Leopold Seyffert, 1944

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1925-1929

As a teenager, Alvan Fuller started and ran a bicycle repair shop in Malden and became a championship cyclist. In 1899, when automobiles first began to be manufactured, the twenty-one-year-old sold his racing prizes, using the money to go to Europe where he bought two cars, which he shipped through the Port of Boston. By 1904, Fuller had opened a dealership on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, which in 1920 was recognized as the world's most successful auto dealership.

Mr. Fuller served as a member in the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1915-17 and won a Congressional seat as an Independent, serving 1917-1921. Over the next four years he served as Lieutenant Governor to Channing Cox, succeeding him in 1921.

Governor Fuller faced a significant budget deficit leading to initiatives to reduce and economize the operations of state government. The fear of the spread of communism or the "Red Scare" combined with labor issues continued to be in the forefront of the national consciousness, manifesting itself in the Sacco and Vanzetti Murder Trial. Governor Fuller appointed a three-member panel: Harvard President, Abbott Lawrence Lowell; MIT President, Dr. Samuel W. Stratton; and retired Probate Judge, Robert Grant to investigate the case and see if the trials were fair. Governor Fuller accepted the committee's assessment and based on that assessment, refused to further delay their executions.

Mr. Fuller returned to his business after serving as Governor. It is said that Fuller never cashed the payments he received for holding public office and presented them to his children as mementos of his time in public service.