J. Melville Broughton

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Joseph Melville Broughton
Melville Broughton.jpg
United States Senator
from North Carolina
In office
December 31, 1948 – March 6, 1949
Preceded by William B. Umstead
Succeeded by Frank P. Graham
60th Governor of North Carolina
In office
January 9, 1941 – January 4, 1945
Lieutenant Reginald L. Harris
Preceded by Clyde R. Hoey
Succeeded by R. Gregg Cherry
Personal details
Born (1888-11-17)November 17, 1888
Raleigh, North Carolina
Died March 6, 1949(1949-03-06) (aged 60)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alice Willson
Children 4
Alma mater Wake Forest University,
Harvard Law School

Joseph Melville Broughton (November 17, 1888 – March 6, 1949) was the 60th Governor of North Carolina from 1941 to 1945. He later briefly served as a United States Senator from January 3, 1949 until his death in office approximately two months later.


Broughton was born on November 17, 1888 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest College, where he also played football, in 1910. Broughton attended Harvard Law School then worked as a school principal and journalist before actively entering the legal profession. As governor, one of his major legacies was the extension of the public school term from six to nine months.

Broughton was among twelve nominated at the 1944 Democratic National Convention to serve as Franklin D. Roosevelt's running mate in the presidential election that year.[1] In 1948, Broughton was elected to the United States Senate, after defeating William B. Umstead, an appointed incumbent, in the Democratic primary.[2] In November, Broughton won both a special election to complete the Senate term[3] and an election for a full term.[4] He took office on December 31, 1948, but his service in the Senate was brief.

Appearing healthy, Broughton suddenly collapsed from a heart attack and died in Washington D.C. on March 6, 1949. Governor W. Kerr Scott appointed Frank Porter Graham to fill his vacant office until the next election.[5]


Joseph Melville Broughton, Jr. was the son of Joseph Melville Broughton, Sr. and Sallie Harris. He married Alice Wilson in 1916, they had four children. He was the nephew of Needham B. Broughton.[6] He was interred at Montlawn Memorial Park in Raleigh.


In 1959, the State Hospital at Morganton for psychiatric patients was renamed Broughton Hospital in his memory.[7]

He was a member of Civitan International.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Catledge, Turner (1944-07-22). "Truman Nominated for Vice Presidency". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  2. ^ OurCampaigns.com: 1948 primary
  3. ^ OurCampaigns.com: 1948 special election
  4. ^ OurCampaigns.com: 1948 regular Senate election
  5. ^ Eamon 2014, p. 25.
  6. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=qfVEGsArAGUC&pg=PA198&dq=needham+broughton#v=onepage&q=needham%20broughton
  7. ^ NC Historical Marker: Broughton Hospital
  8. ^ Leonhart, James Chancellor (1962). The Fabulous Octogenarian. Baltimore Maryland: Redwood House, Inc. p. 277.

Works cited

  • Eamon, Tom (2014). The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory. UNC Press Books. ISBN 9781469606972.

External links

United States Congress. "BROUGHTON, Joseph Melville (id: B000894)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. at Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

  • National Governors Association biography
  • North Carolina Historical Marker
  • NCPedia - Joseph Melville Broughton

Political offices
Preceded by
Clyde R. Hoey
Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
R. Gregg Cherry
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William Bradley Umstead
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from North Carolina
Served alongside: Clyde Roark Hoey
Succeeded by
Frank Porter Graham
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