The second-youngest Governor in Pennsylvania’s history died early Thursday at an assisted-living center in Hershey.
George Leader served one term, from 1955 until 1959. He was 37 at the time of his inauguration. Leader lived to be 95.
Leader was born in York County in 1918, worked on his family’s chicken farm, and served as an Ensign in the Navy before winning election as a Democrat to the state Senate in 1950. His political career ended after his single term as Governor when he lost a race for a U.S. Senate seat to Republican Hugh Scott.
Leader’s administration counted among its accomplishments the enactment of the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and the overhaul of the state’s mental health system.
After stepping down as Governor, Leader turned his attention to causes such as prison reform, and he established Leader Nursing Homes.
History books show that the youngest Governor in Pennsylvania history was Robert Pattison, who was 32 when he took office in 1883.