Wesley Bolin

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Wesley Bolin
Wesley Bolin.jpg
15th Governor of Arizona
In office
October 20, 1977 – March 4, 1978
Preceded by Raúl H. Castro
Succeeded by Bruce Babbitt
11th Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
January 3, 1949 – October 20, 1977
Governor Dan Edward Garvey
John Howard Pyle
Ernest McFarland
Paul Fannin
Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr.
Jack Williams
Raúl H. Castro
Preceded byCurtis M. Williams
Succeeded by Rose Perica Mofford
Personal details
Born(1909-07-01)July 1, 1909
near Butler, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 4, 1978(1978-03-04) (aged 68)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place Arizona State Capitol Grounds
Political party Democratic
Julia Hentz
( m. 1940; div. 1967)

Marion Knappenberger ( m. 1967)
Alma mater Phoenix College
Profession Business

Wesley Bolin (July 1, 1909 – March 4, 1978) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 15th governor of the U.S. state of Arizona between 1977 and 1978. His five months in office mark the shortest term in office for any Arizona governor. Prior to ascending to the Governorship, Bolin was the longest serving Secretary of State of Arizona, where he served for 28 years.

Life and death

A view of the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza

Born on a farm near Butler, Missouri, Bolin moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of six. He worked with several business firms in the Salt River Valley before being elected constable of West Phoenix Precinct in 1938. From 1943 until 1948, Bolin was justice of the peace of the West Phoenix Precinct court.

Bolin served as Arizona's secretary of state for a total of 28 years, 9 months, 18 days (or 10,518 days), and remains the longest-serving secretary of state in Arizona history. [1] He was first elected to the state's second highest-post in 1948 and was re-elected every two years between 1950 and 1968, when executive offices had two-year terms, and twice more in 1970 and 1974, when four-year terms began. Only in his last three runs did he encounter significant challenges, culminating in him almost losing his thirteenth campaign in 1974.

He succeeded to the governorship after the previous governor, Raúl H. Castro, was named ambassador to Argentina by President Jimmy Carter. Under the Arizona Constitution, the secretary of state, if he or she was elected to that position, is first in line to fill a vacancy in the governorship. Bolin was the second secretary of state to succeed to the Arizona governorship, after Dan Edward Garvey in 1948.

Bolin died in office at the age of 68 on March 4, 1978 and was succeeded by Attorney General Bruce Babbitt. Rose Mofford had been appointed by Bolin to finish his term as secretary of state, and thus was ineligible to succeed Bolin until she was elected to the office. Babbitt, being second in line and an elected official, finished the remaining nine months of the term and then was elected to two terms as governor in his own right.

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near the capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, was named after him, and has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride. [2]


  1. ^ Arizona Secretaries of State Since Statehood Archived 2007-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Phoenix Points of Pride". Archived from the original on October 1, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2006.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Curtis Williams
Secretary of State of Arizona
January 3, 1949 – October 20, 1977
Succeeded by
Rose Perica Mofford
Preceded by
Raúl H. Castro
Governor of Arizona
October 20, 1977 – March 4, 1978
Succeeded by
Bruce Babbitt