The Info List - Charles Edison

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Charles Edison, (August 3, 1890 – July 31, 1969) was a son of Thomas Edison and Mina Miller Edison. Commonly known as "Lord Edison", he was a businessman, inventor and animal behaviorist who became Assistant and then United States
United States
Secretary of the Navy, and served as the 42nd Governor of New Jersey.


1 Biography 2 See also 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

Biography[edit] Born at his parents' home, Glenmont, in West Orange, New Jersey, he graduated from the Hotchkiss School
Hotchkiss School
in Lakeville, Connecticut
Lakeville, Connecticut
in 1909.[1] In 1915–1916 he operated the 100-seat "Little Thimble Theater" with Guido Bruno. There they played the works of George Bernard Shaw and August Strindberg
August Strindberg
while Charles contributed verse to "Bruno's Weekly" under the pseudonym "Tom Sleeper". Late in 1915, he brought his players to Ellis Island
Ellis Island
to perform for Chief Clerk Augustus Sherman and more than four hundred detained immigrants. These avant-garde activities came to a halt when his father put him to work. He married Carolyn Hawkins on March 27, 1918. They had no children. For a number of years Charles Edison
Charles Edison
ran Edison Records. Charles became president of his father's company Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
in 1927, and ran it until it was sold in 1957, when it merged with the McGraw Electric Company
McGraw Electric Company
to form the McGraw-Edison Electric Company. Edison was board chairman of the merged company until he retired in 1961.[2] On January 18, 1937, President Roosevelt appointed Charles Edison
Charles Edison
as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, then as Secretary on January 2, 1940, Claude A. Swanson
Claude A. Swanson
having died several months previously.[3] Edison himself only kept the job until June 24, resigning to run his gubernatorial campaign. During his time in the Navy department, he advocated construction of the large Iowa-class battleships, and that one of them be built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which secured votes for Roosevelt in Pennsylvania
and New Jersey
New Jersey
in the 1940 presidential election; in return, Roosevelt had BB-62 named the USS New Jersey.[4] In 1940, he won election as Governor of New Jersey, running in reaction to the political machine run by Frank Hague, but broke with family tradition by declaring himself a Democrat. As governor, he proposed updating the New Jersey
New Jersey
State Constitution. Although it failed in a referendum and nothing was changed during his tenure, state legislators did reform the constitution later.[2] In 1948, he established a charitable foundation, originally called "The Brook Foundation", now the Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Fund.[5] Between 1951 and 1969, he lived in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where he struck up a friendship with Herbert Hoover, who also lived there.[6] In 1962, Edison was one of the founders of the Conservative Party of New York State.[7] In 1967, Edison hosted a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York that led to the founding of the Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Youth Fund, later the Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Memorial Youth Fund. Attending the meeting were Rep. Walter Judd (R-MN), author William F. Buckley, organizer David R. Jones, and Edison's political advisor Marvin Liebman. The name of the organization was changed in 1985 to The Fund for American Studies,[8] in keeping with Edison's request to drop his name after 20 years of use. In 1924, Edison joined the New Jersey
New Jersey
Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was assigned national member number 39,292 and state society number 2,894. [9]

Charles Edison, 1931

Charles Edison
Charles Edison
died on July 31, 1969 in New York City, three days shy of his 79th birthday.[10] He is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey. See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of Governors of New Jersey


^ "Alumni Award: PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS". The Hotchkiss School. 2004. Archived from the original on March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2015.  ^ a b "GEDIS.pdf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 12, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2007.  ^ Secretaries of the Navy, Naval Historical Center. Accessed August 6, 2007. ^ Comegno, Carol. "Historian details the role politics played in battleship's creation", Courier-Post, January 6, 2000. Accessed May 27, 2007. "Professor Jeffery Dorwart, of Rutgers-Camden said the ship was named after the state by President Franklin Roosevelt to repay a political debt to Charles Edison, the son of inventor Thomas Edison." ^ "Charles Edison". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.  ^ John D. Venable, Out of the Shadow: the Story of Charles Edison ( Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Fund, 1978), p. 271. ^ Niels Bjerre-Poulsen, Right Face: Organizing the American Conservative Movement 1945–65 (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002), p. 143. (ISBN 978-8772898094) ^ History Archived July 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., The Fund for American Studies ^ https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=WOu90&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=SARMemberApps&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=charles&gsfn_x=0&gsln=edison&gsln_x=0&MSAV=1&uidh=vt7&pcat=39&fh=0&h=476755&recoff=&ml_rpos=1 ^ "Charles Edison, 78, Ex-Governor Of Jersey and U.S. Aide, Is Dead". New York Times. August 1, 1969. Retrieved July 21, 2007. Charles Edison, former Governor of New Jersey, ... Mr. Edison, who had been admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, was 78 years ... 

Further reading[edit]

Richard J. Connors, State Constitutional Convention Studies, #4: The Process of Constitutional Revision in New Jersey: 1940–1947. (New York: National Municipal League, 1970). OCLC 118700 Venable, John D. (1978). Out of the Shadow: The Story of Charles Edison : a Biography. Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Fund. OCLC 118700. 

External links[edit]

Charles Edison
Charles Edison
at Find a Grave New Jersey
New Jersey
Governor Charles Edison, National Governors Association Charles Edison
Charles Edison
Fund: Includes a picture of Charles Edison The Pragmatic Populism of a Non-Partisan Politician: An Analysis of the Political Philosophy of Charles Edison Fund for American Studies – History

Political offices

Preceded by Henry L. Roosevelt Assistant Secretary of the Navy 1937–1940 Succeeded by Lewis Compton

Preceded by Claude A. Swanson United States
United States
Secretary of the Navy Acting: 1939–1940 1939–1940 Succeeded by Frank Knox

Party political offices

Preceded by A. Harry Moore Democratic nominee for Governor of New Jersey 1940 Succeeded by Vincent J. Murphy

Political offices

Preceded by A. Harry Moore Governor of New Jersey 1941–1944 Succeeded by Walter Evans Edge

Non-profit organization positions

Preceded by John Winant President of the National Municipal League 1946–1950 Succeeded by Henry Bruère

v t e

United States
United States
Department of the Navy


Cabinet level

Stoddert Smith Hamilton Jones Crowninshield S Thompson Southard Branch L. Woodbury Dickerson Paulding Badger Upshur Henshaw Gilmer Mason Bancroft Mason Preston Graham Kennedy Dobbin Toucey Welles Borie Robeson R Thompson Goff Hunt Chandler Whitney Tracy Herbert Long Moody Morton Bonaparte Metcalf Newberry Meyer Daniels Denby Wilbur Adams Swanson Edison Knox Forrestal

Dept. of Defense

Sullivan Matthews Kimball Anderson Thomas T. Gates Franke Connally Korth Nitze Ignatius Chafee Warner Middendorf Claytor Hidalgo Lehman Webb Ball Garrett O'Keefe Dalton Danzig England Winter Mabus Spencer

Under Secretaries

Forrestal Bard A. Gates Sullivan Kenney Kimball Whitehair Thomas T. Gates Franke Bantz Fay BeLieu Baldwin Baird Warner Sanders Middendorf Potter Macdonald Woolsey Murray Goodrich Garrett Howard Danzig Hultin Pirie Livingstone Aviles Work Davidson Modly

Assistant Secretaries


Fox Faxon Soley McAdoo T. Roosevelt Sr. Allen Hackett Darling Newberry Satterlee Winthrop F. Roosevelt G. Woodbury T. Roosevelt Jr. Robinson Jahncke H. Roosevelt Edison Compton Bard Hensel Kenney Andrews Koehler Askins Fogler


Financial Management and Comptroller Installations and Environment Manpower and Reserve Affairs Research, Development and Acquisitions General Counsel of the Navy defunct:

Air Installations and Logistics Material Research and Development Research, Engineering and Systems Shipbuilding and Logistics

v t e

Governors of New Jersey

Proprietary Province


East New Jersey

Carteret Barclay Hamilton Basse Hamilton

West New Jersey

Byllynge Coxe Hamilton Basse Hamilton

Dominion of New England (1688–89)


Royal Governors

Viscount Cornbury Baron Lovelace Ingoldesby (Lt. Gov.) Hunter Burnet Montgomerie Morris (acting) Cosby Anderson (acting) Hamilton (acting) Lord De La Warr Morris Hamilton (acting) Reading (acting) Belcher Reading (acting) Pownall (Lt. Gov.) Reading (acting) Bernard Boone Hardy Franklin


Livingston Paterson Howell Bloomfield Ogden W.S. Pennington M. Dickerson Williamson Vroom Southard Seeley Vroom P. Dickerson W. Pennington Haines Stratton Haines G. Fort Price Newell Olden Parker Ward Randolph Parker Bedle McClellan Ludlow Abbett Green Abbett Werts Griggs Voorhees F. Murphy Stokes J. Fort Wilson Fielder Edge Edwards Silzer Moore Larson Moore Hoffman Moore Edison Edge Driscoll Meyner Hughes Cahill Byrne Kean Florio Whitman DiFrancesco McGreevey Codey Corzine Christie P. Murphy

Book:Governors of New Jersey

v t e

Cabinet of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Vice President

John N. Garner (1933–41) Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace
(1941–45) Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman

Secretary of State

Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull
(1933–44) Edward R. Stettinius Jr. (1944–45)

Secretary of the Treasury

William Hartman Woodin (1933–34) Henry Morgenthau Jr.
Henry Morgenthau Jr.

Secretary of War

George H. Dern (1933–36) Harry H. Woodring (1936–40) Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson

Attorney General

Homer S. Cummings (1933–39) Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy
(1939–40) Robert H. Jackson
Robert H. Jackson
(1940–41) Francis B. Biddle (1941–45)

Postmaster General

James A. Farley (1933–40) Frank C. Walker (1940–45)

Secretary of the Navy

Claude A. Swanson
Claude A. Swanson
(1933–39) Charles Edison
Charles Edison
(1940) Frank Knox
Frank Knox
(1940–44) James V. Forrestal (1944–45)

Secretary of the Interior

Harold L. Ickes
Harold L. Ickes

Secretary of Agriculture

Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace
(1933–40) Claude Raymond Wickard (1940–45)

Secretary of Commerce

Daniel C. Roper
Daniel C. Roper
(1933–38) Harry L. Hopkins (1938–40) Jesse H. Jones
Jesse H. Jones
(1940–45) Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace

Secretary of Labor

Frances Perkins
Frances Perkins

v t e

Thomas Edison

Discoveries and inventions

List of Edison patents Carbon microphone Edison's Phonograph
Doll Edison screw Etheric force Kinetoscope Phonograph Phonomotor Quadruplex telegraph Tasimeter


Consolidated Edison Edison–Lalande cell Fluoroscopy Incandescent light bulb Movie camera Nickel–iron battery Thermionic emission Ticker tape


Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Edison and Swan Electric Light Company Edison Gower-Bell Telephone Company of Europe, Ltd. Edison Illuminating Company Edison Machine Works Edison Manufacturing Company Edison Ore-Milling Company Edison Portland Cement Company Edison Records Edison Storage Battery Company Edison Studios General Electric Motion Picture Patents Company Mine Safety Appliances Oriental Telephone Company


Birthplace Black Maria Depot Museum Memorial Tower and Museum National Historical Park State Park Storage Battery Company Building General Electric
General Electric
Research Laboratory Winter Estates


Charles Edison
Charles Edison
(son) Theodore Miller Edison (son)


Young Tom Edison
Young Tom Edison
(1940) Edison, the Man
Edison, the Man
(1940) "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (1998)


The Future Eve (1886) Edison's Conquest of Mars
Edison's Conquest of Mars
(1898) Tales from the Bully Pulpit (2004)


The Execution of Mary Stuart
The Execution of Mary Stuart
(1895) The Kiss (1896) A Night of Terror (1911)


Edisonade Edisonian approach


Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
in popular culture War of Currents Pearl Street Station Edison Museum Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
House Edison Hotel Telephonoscope "Topsy"

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 18462818 LCCN: n00115