Charles Francis Hurley
Painting: by Jacob Binder

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1937-1939

Governor Charles Hurley's administration increased the regulation of labor practices and emphasized individual rights. Hurley was born and raised in Cambridge. He attended public schools and graduated from Boston College before serving in the Navy during the First World War. He was the first person to serve three terms as Massachusetts' Treasurer and the first to step from that role directly to the governorship.

During Governor Hurley's administration the Fair Trades Laws were passed which regulated the use of private police in strikes, imposed a minimum wage for women and children, and further regulated industrial work. He vetoed a law to require teachers to take loyalty oaths and raised the ire of Georgia's Governor E.D. Rivers by refusing to extradite James Cunningham who had escaped from a Georgia chain gang thirteen years earlier. Hurley also approved a fifth form of municipal government in Massachusetts, called Plan E. This allowed for an appointed town manager and a town committee drawn from a proportional representation of the vote, rather than a collection of majority elected precinct candidates.

Hurley was denied reelection when former Governor James Michael Curley won the 1939 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.