Bedford County TN Biographies

WILLIAM PRENTICE COOPER

Birth: Sep. 28, 1895 - Death: May 18, 1969
Tennessee Governor. He served as Governor of Tennessee from 1939 until 1945. He first served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1922 to 1924, then as Tennessee Attorney General of the 8th Judicial Circuit of Tennessee from 1925 to 1927. He returned to his hometown of Shelbyville to practice law until elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1937. In 1939, he began his first of three consecutive terms as Governor of Tennessee. During his terms, he organized the State Defense Council before World War II began. He was instrumental in having fifteen armories constructed around the state and oversaw the establishment of military bases at Camp Forrest, Camp Campbell, Sewart Air Base in Smyrna, and a Naval Training facility in Millington. His stay as Governor ended as the war ended in 1945. Afterwards he was appointed as Ambassador to Peru, and served from 1946 until 1948. He died at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

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