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  Rolph, Jr., James
NameJames Rolph, Jr.
San Francisco, California , United States
Born August 23, 1869
DiedJune 02, 1934 (64 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedThomas Walker
Aug 24, 2005 10:05pm
Tags Alcoholic -
InfoGrand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade 1930.

James Rolph was born on 23rd August, 1869. He owned a shipbuilding business and served as mayor of San Francisco for nineteen years. He was initially a reformer advocating the municipal ownership of streetcars, water and power facilities.

After the First World War his business declined and he came under the influence of Herbert Fleishhacker, the man who controlled the Anglo-California National Bank.

Rolph was an alcoholic and a strong opponent of Prohibition. He openly ignored the prohibition laws and once sent a case of whiskey to a man waiting to be executed. On another occasion he refused to protect two kidnappers and when they were lynched by a mob, made a statement saying that justice had been served.

A member of the Republican Party, Rolph was elected as Governor of California in 1930. He took up the post in 1931 and during his period of office the Olympic Games was held in Los Angeles and Alcatraz became a federal prison.

Rolph controversially refused to pardon Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, who had been wrongly imprisoned for the bombing which occurred in San Francisco in 1916. Roger Baldwin of the American Civil Liberties Union, commented that Rolph would not pardon Mooney and Billings unless "Fleishhacker changes his mind - which is damn unlikely according to every one who knows him."

James Rolph died in Santa Clara County, California on 2nd June, 1934.



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Son James Rolph, III 1904-1980
Father James Rolph 1839-1918
Brother Thomas Rolph 1885-1956

Governor James Rolph, Jr. Inaugural Address January 6, 1931  Discuss
  11/04/1930 CA Governor Won 72.15% (+48.04%)
  08/26/1930 CA Governor - R Primary Won 39.56% (+2.16%)
  11/08/1927 San Francisco Mayor Won 56.01% (+19.23%)
  11/06/1923 San Francisco Mayor Won 62.15% (+24.29%)
  11/05/1918 CA Governor Lost 2.99% (-53.28%)
  08/27/1918 CA Governor - D Primary Won 45.53% (+8.75%)
  08/27/1918 CA Governor - R Primary Lost 39.21% (-5.86%)
  09/26/1911 San Francisco Mayor Won 60.34% (+25.92%)