List of Governors of Michigan

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Governor of Michigan
Seal of Michigan Governor.svg
Seal of the Governor
Flag of the Governor of Michigan.svg
Flag of the Governor
Gretchen Whitmer Portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Gretchen Whitmer

since January 1, 2019
StyleHis Excellency[1]
Status
ResidenceMichigan Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
PrecursorGovernor of Michigan Territory
Inaugural holderStevens T. Mason
FormationNovember 3, 1835
DeputyLieutenant Governor of Michigan
Websitewww.michigan.gov/gov

The Governor of Michigan is the head of the executive branch of Michigan's state government and is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[2]

The governor has a duty to enforce state laws. He or she is also empowered to reorganize the executive branch of the state government.[3]

In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created, and five men were territorial governors, until Michigan was granted statehood in 1837. Forty-eight individuals have held the position of state governor. The first female governor, Jennifer Granholm, was elected in 2003.

Governors of Michigan state (since 1837)[change | change source]

Parties

  Democratic (19)   Whig (2)   Republican (28)

# Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Notes
1 Stevens T Mason.png   Stevens T. Mason November 3, 1835 January 7, 1840 Democratic   Edward Mundy
2 William Woodbridge.jpg   William Woodbridge January 7, 1840 February 23, 1841 Whig   James Wright Gordon [a]
3 J Wright Gordon.JPG   James Wright Gordon February 23, 1841 January 3, 1842 Whig   Thomas J. Drake [b]
4 Jsbarry-1-.jpg   John S. Barry January 3, 1842 January 5, 1846 Democratic   Origen D. Richardson
5 Alpheus Felch.jpg   Alpheus Felch January 5, 1846 March 3, 1847 Democratic   William L. Greenly [a]
6 William Greenly.png   William L. Greenly March 4, 1847 January 3, 1848 Democratic   Charles P. Bush [b]
7 Epaphroditus Ransom 1.jpg   Epaphroditus Ransom January 3, 1848 January 7, 1850 Democratic   William M. Fenton
8 Jsbarry-1-.jpg   John S. Barry January 7, 1850 January 1, 1852 Democratic   William M. Fenton
9 Robert McClelland 1.jpg   Robert McClelland[c] January 1, 1852 March 7, 1853 Democratic   Calvin Britain [d]
  Andrew Parsons
10 Andrew parsons.jpg   Andrew Parsons March 8, 1853 January 3, 1855 Democratic   George Griswold [b]
11 Kingsley Bingham.jpg   Kinsley S. Bingham January 3, 1855 January 5, 1859 Republican   George Coe
12 Mwisner-1-.jpg   Moses Wisner January 5, 1859 January 2, 1861 Republican   Edmund B. Fairfield
13 Austin Blair cph.3b29566.jpg   Austin Blair January 2, 1861 January 3, 1865 Republican   James M. Birney
  Joseph R. Williams
  Henry T. Backus
  Charles S. May
14 Governor-crapo-1-.jpg   Henry H. Crapo January 3, 1865 January 6, 1869 Republican   Ebenezer Grosvenor
  Dwight May
15 Henry P. Baldwin.png   Henry P. Baldwin January 6, 1869 January 1, 1873 Republican   Morgan Bates
16 Jjbagley.jpg   John J. Bagley January 1, 1873 January 3, 1877 Republican   Henry H. Holt
17 Charles Croswell.jpg   Charles Croswell January 3, 1877 January 1, 1881 Republican   Alonzo Sessions
18 David Howell Jerome.jpg   David Jerome January 1, 1881 January 1, 1883 Republican   Moreau S. Crosby
19 Josiah W Begole.jpg   Josiah Begole January 1, 1883 January 1, 1885 Democratic   Moreau S. Crosby (Republican)
20 Russell Alexander Alger by Percy Ives.jpg   Russell Alger January 1, 1885 January 1, 1887 Republican   Archibald Buttars
21 Cyrus Luce.jpg   Cyrus G. Luce January 1, 1887 January 1, 1891 Republican   James H. MacDonald
  William Ball
22 Edwin Winans.jpg   Edwin B. Winans January 1, 1891 January 1, 1893 Democratic   John Strong
23 John T Rich.JPG   John T. Rich January 1, 1893 January 1, 1897 Republican   J. Wight Giddings
  Alfred Milnes
  Joseph R. McLaughlin
24 HazenSPingreeDetroitMayor.jpg   Hazen S. Pingree January 1, 1897 January 1, 1901 Republican   Thomas B. Dunstan
  Orrin W. Robinson
25 Aaron T Bliss.jpg   Aaron T. Bliss January 1, 1901 January 1, 1905 Republican   Orrin W. Robinson
  Alexander Maitland
26 FredMWarner.jpg   Fred M. Warner January 1, 1905 January 2, 1911 Republican   Alexander Maitland
  Patrick H. Kelley
27 Chase S. Osborn.png   Chase Osborn January 2, 1911 January 1, 1913 Republican   John Q. Ross
28 WoodbridgeFerris.jpg   Woodbridge Nathan Ferris January 1, 1913 January 1, 1917 Democratic   John Q. Ross (Republican)
  Luren Dickinson (Republican)
29 Albert Edson Sleeper (December 31, 1862 – May 13, 1934) in 1916.jpg   Albert Sleeper January 1, 1917 January 1, 1921 Republican   Luren Dickinson
30 AlexJGroesbeck.jpg   Alex Groesbeck January 1, 1921 January 1, 1927 Republican   Thomas Read
  George W. Welsh
31 Fred Warren Green in 1917.jpg   Fred W. Green January 1, 1927 January 1, 1931 Republican   Luren Dickinson
32 Wilber Marion Brucker.jpg   Wilber M. Brucker January 1, 1931 January 1, 1933 Republican   Luren Dickinson
33 William A. Comstock (Michigan Governor).jpg   William Comstock January 1, 1933 January 1, 1935 Democratic   Allen E. Stebbins
34 Frank D. Fitzgerald.jpg   Frank Fitzgerald January 1, 1935 January 1, 1937 Republican   Thomas Read
35 Justice Frank Murphy.jpg   Frank Murphy January 1, 1937 January 1, 1939 Democratic   Leo J. Nowicki
36 Frank D. Fitzgerald.jpg   Frank Fitzgerald January 1, 1939 March 16, 1939 Republican   Luren Dickinson [e]
37 Luren D. Dickinson.jpg   Luren Dickinson March 16, 1939 January 1, 1941 Republican   Matilda Dodge Wilson [b]
38 Murray D. Van Wagoner.jpg   Murray Van Wagoner January 1, 1941 January 1, 1943 Democratic   Frank Murphy
39 Harry F. Kelly.jpg   Harry Kelly January 1, 1943 January 1, 1947 Republican   Eugene C. Keyes
  Vernon J. Brown
40 Kim Sigler (Michigan Governor).jpg   Kim Sigler January 1, 1947 January 1, 1949 Republican   Eugene C. Keyes
41 G. Mennen Williams (Michigan Governor).jpg   G. Mennen Williams January 1, 1949 January 1, 1961 Democratic   John W. Connolly
  William C. Vandenberg (Republican)
  Clarence A. Reid (Republican)
  Philip A. Hart
  John B. Swainson
42 John B. Swainson.jpg   John Swainson January 1, 1961 January 1, 1963 Democratic   T. John Lesinski
43 George W. Romney official portrait.jpg   George W. Romney January 1, 1963 January 22, 1969 Republican   T. John Lesinski (Democratic) [f]
  William Milliken
44 William G. Milliken 2 (Michigan Governor).jpg   William Milliken January 22, 1969 January 1, 1983 Republican   Thomas F. Schweigert [g]
  James H. Brickley
  James Damman
  James H. Brickley
45 James Blanchard 1981 congressional photo.jpg   James Blanchard January 1, 1983 January 1, 1991 Democratic   Martha Griffiths
46 John Engler (cropped).jpg   John Engler January 1, 1991 January 1, 2003 Republican   Connie Binsfeld [h]
  Dick Posthumus
47 Jennifer Granholm 5.jpg   Jennifer Granholm January 1, 2003 January 1, 2011 Democratic   John D. Cherry, Jr.
48 Rick Snyder in 2013.jpg   Rick Snyder January 1, 2011 January 1, 2019 Republican   Brian Calley
49 Gretchen Whitmer Portrait.jpg   Gretchen Whitmer January 1, 2019 Present Democratic   Garlin Gilchrist

Living former U.S. governors of Michigan[change | change source]

As of May 2019, there are five living former governors of Michigan. The most recent death of a former governor was that of George W. Romney on July 26, 1995. The state's living former governors are:

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
William Milliken 1969–1983 (1922-03-26) March 26, 1922 (age 97)
James Blanchard 1983–1991 (1942-08-08) August 8, 1942 (age 76)
John Engler 1991–2003 (1948-10-12) October 12, 1948 (age 70)
Jennifer Granholm 2003–2011 (1959-02-05) February 5, 1959 (age 60)
Rick Snyder 2011–2019 (1958-08-19) August 19, 1958 (age 60)

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Resigned to take a seat in the United States Senate.[4]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for unexpired term.[4]
  3. After a new state constitution was drafted in 1850, McClelland was elected to a single one-year term in 1851. He was then re-elected to a full two-year term in 1852.[5]
  4. Resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior.[4]
  5. Died in office.[4]
  6. Resigned to become United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[4]
  7. As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.[4]
  8. Binsfeld served during the first two terms; Posthumus served the third term.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Macomb, Alex (1837). "No. 20: Letter from Major General Macomb, to His Excellency the Governor of Michigan, Accompanying a Copy of Military Tactics". Documents Accompanying the Journal of the Senate. Detroit: John S. Bagg, State Printer. p. 167.
  2. 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 12
  3. 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Dunbar, Willis F. & May, George S. (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (Third Revised ed.). William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. pp. 276–78. ISBN 978-0-8028-7055-1.
  5. Gardner, Washington (1913). History of Calhoun County, Michigan. Lewis Pub. Co. p. 220.
  6. "Former Lieutenant Governors". State of Michigan. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.