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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNorth Carolina

Richard Thurmond CHATHAM

(1896-1957)

CHATHAM, Richard Thurmond, a Representative from North Carolina; born in Elkin, Surry County, N.C., August 16, 1896; educated in the public schools; attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1915 and 1916 and Yale University in 1916 and 1917; served in the United States Navy from May 1917 until discharged as an ensign in June 1919; in July 1919 started working in the textile mills of Chatham Manufacturing Co. at Winston-Salem, N.C., and retired in 1955 as chairman of the board of directors; also owned and operated a farm near Elkin, N.C.; member of the Woolen Wage and Hour Board, Washington, D.C., in 1939; served as a member of the State Board of Conservation and Development and as county commissioner of Forsyth County; served in the Navy from February 14, 1942, to November 25, 1945, with combat duty in the Southwest Pacific; unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1946 to the Eightieth Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-first and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1949-January 3, 1957); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1956; died in Durham, N.C., February 5, 1957; interment in Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Bibliography

Christian, Ralph J. “The Folger-Chatham Congressional Primary of 1946.” The North Carolina Historical Review 53 (Winter 1976): 25-53.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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