Joe R. Hanley

Joseph Rhodes Hanley (May 30, 1876, Davenport, Iowa September 4, 1961[1]) was an American lawyer and Republican politician who served as Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1943 to 1950.


He served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish–American War. In 1941 and 1942, he was Commander-in-Chief of the United Spanish War Veterans.[2]

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Wyoming Co.) in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (44th D.) from 1932 to 1943, sitting in the 155th, 156th, 157th, 158th, 159th, 160th, 161st, 162nd, 163rd and 164th New York State Legislatures. After the death of Perley A. Pitcher, Hanley was elected Temporary President of the State Senate on February 27, 1939. When Charles Poletti succeeded to the governor's office upon the resignation of Herbert H. Lehman in December 1942, Hanley became Acting Lieutenant Governor of New York for four weeks.

When Lt. Gov. Thomas W. Wallace died on July 17, 1943, Hanley became again Acting Lieutenant Governor. At the New York state election, 1943 in November, he defeated Democrat William N. Haskell in a special election for Lieutenant Governor and, re-elected at the New York state election, 1946, continued in office until the end of 1950. He was a delegate to the 1944 and 1948 Republican National Conventions.

Early in 1950, Governor Thomas E. Dewey announced he would not seek another term as governor. Hanley was the leading candidate to succeed him. Then Dewey decided to run after all and was re-elected. For the record, Hanley claimed he had bowed out of the campaign voluntarily to clear the way for Dewey. But, in a "Dear King" letter to W. Kingsland Macy, Hanley said Dewey had persuaded him to run for U.S. Senator from New York instead and had promised him a state job if he lost the Senate race.[3] He lost the senate race and was appointed special counsel to the State Division of Veterans' Affairs.[4]


  1. The Political Graveyard
  2. Photo
  3. Michael Dorman, "A Legacy of Kings", Newsday.
  4. "Postscript", Time, January 15, 1951
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Webb A. Joiner
New York State Assembly
Wyoming County

Succeeded by
Harold C. Ostertag
New York State Senate
Preceded by
John Knight
New York State Senate
44th District

Succeeded by
Austin W. Erwin
Political offices
Preceded by
Perley A. Pitcher
Temporary President of the New York State Senate
Succeeded by
Benjamin F. Feinberg
Preceded by
Charles Poletti
Lieutenant Governor of New York

Succeeded by
Thomas W. Wallace
Preceded by
Thomas W. Wallace
Lieutenant Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Frank C. Moore
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Foster Dulles
Republican Nominee for U.S. Senator from New York
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Jacob K. Javits
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