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Wilbur Lucius Cross

wilbur lucius cross, wilbur lucius cross ph.d. 1889
Wilbur Lucius Cross April 10, 1862 – October 5, 1948 was an American literary critic who served as the 71st Governor of Connecticut from 1931 to 1939


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Death and legacy
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Footnotes
  • 5 Works
  • 6 External links


Born in 1862 in Mansfield, Connecticut, Cross attended Natchaug School in Willimantic, Connecticut He graduated from Yale University BA 1885 and served as principal of Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut for a short time around 1885 before returning to Yale as a graduate student, earning a PhD in English literature in 1889 Cross spent several years as a high school principal and schoolteacher at Staples High School in Westport before being offered a job as a professor of English at Yale in 1894 Over the next 36 years, he taught at Yale, became editor of the Yale Review, Sterling Professor of English in 1922, and Dean of the Yale Graduate School from 1916 to 193012 On July 17, 1889, he was married to Helen Baldwin Avery, and they had four children; Wilbur Lucius Cross, Jr, Avery Cross, Elizabeth Cross, and Arthur Cross3

Cross became a well-known literary critic Along with C F Tucker Brooke, Cross was the editor of the Yale Shakespeare; he also edited the Yale Review for almost 30 years He wrote several books, including Life and Times of Laurence Sterne 1909 and The History of Henry Fielding 1918, and several books on the English novel

After retiring from Yale, Cross was elected governor of Connecticut as a Democrat in 1930 and served as Governor for four two-year terms, from January 7, 1931 to January 4, 1939 He was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Connecticut in 19364 He was defeated in 1938 in his attempt to gain re-election for a fifth term He is credited with passage of several items of reform legislation during his tenure of governor, which included measures related to the abolition of child labor, and instituted a minimum wage rate Also there was legislation that authorized governmental reorganization, and improved factory laws He also endorsed legislation that authorized funding for the rebuilding of the Connecticut State College, which included the construction of the first campus library, named the Cross Library After retiring from public service, he continued to stay active in his writing and research projects5

Death and legacyedit

Cross died on October 5, 1948 in New Haven, at the age of 86 He is interred at Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut6

Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut, Wilbur Cross School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Connecticut's Wilbur Cross Parkway and Wilbur Cross Highway were named in his honor, as was Yale's Wilbur L Cross Medal, awarded for outstanding achievement in professional life The first campus library at the University of Connecticut then Connecticut State College, built with bond revenues authorized during Cross's governorship and opened in 1939, was named for Cross in 1942

Wilbur Cross's autobiography, Connecticut Yankee, was published in 1943

See alsoedit

  • List of Governors of Connecticut


  1. ^ "Wilbur Lucius Cross" Connecticut State Library Retrieved December 16, 2012 
  2. ^ "Guide to the Wilbur Lucius Cross Papers" Manuscripts and Archives Yale University Library Retrieved 10 March 2015 
  3. ^ "Wilbur Lucius Cross" NNDB Soylent Communications Retrieved December 16, 2012 
  4. ^ "Wilbur Lucius Cross" The Political Graveyard Retrieved December 16, 2012 
  5. ^ "Wilbur Lucius Cross" National Governors Association Retrieved December 16, 2012 
  6. ^ http://wwwcsliborg/gov/crosshtm


  • Proclamations of His Excellency Wilbur L Cross, Governor of the State of Connecticut Hartford, CT: Prospect Press, 1937
  • Connecticut Yankee: An Autobiography New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1943

External linksedit

  • Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
  • Governor Cross Lent Name To Library
  • NNDB Soylent Communications
  • The Political Graveyard
  • Connecticut State Library
  • National Governors Association

Political offices
Preceded by
John H Trumbull
Governor of Connecticut
Succeeded by
Raymond E Baldwin

wilbur lucius cross, wilbur lucius cross ph.d. 1889

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