WILLIAM F QUINN
William F. Quinn was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as the last Governor of the Territory of Hawaii serving from 1957 to 1959. He went on to be elected the first Governor of Hawaii newly formed as the 50th State of the United States. Quinn was the last executive of an era of Republican rule over the Hawaiian Islands which began during the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.
Quinn was born in Rochester, New York on July 13, 1919. His family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he attended prep school at St. Louis University High School. In 1940 he graduated from St. Louis University and later graduated cum laude from the Harvard Law School in 1947. During World War II he served in Hawaii in naval intelligence and after discharge from the service settled permanently in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Having an active role in territorial real estate transactions in the late 1940’s, Quinn involved himself in territorial politics and ran for the Hawaii Territorial Senate in 1956. Quinn worked closely with Congressional Delegate John A. Burns on the Hawaii Statehood Commission and President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Quinn Governor of the Territory of Hawaii in 1957. Defeating his former Congressional colleague, John A. Burns in 1959, he won the new state's first gubernatorial election. In 1962 he lost his bid to continue as Governor to Democrat John A. Burns due to the splitting of Republican votes between Quinn and his Lieutenant Governor James Kealoha.
The Tournament of Roses invited Governor Quinn to be the Grand Marshall of the 1961 Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California. From 1965 to 1972 Quinn was president of Dole Pineapple Company and chairman of the board of both the Honolulu Symphony and the East-West Center. A dedicated actor and singer in the Honolulu Light Opera, Quinn’s most notable role was in the 1940s production of Brigadoon.
Injured in a fall in March 2006, and never fully recovering, Quinn died on August 28, 2006, and was buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.