A. Victor Donahey

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A. Victor Donahey
Alvin Victor Donahey.jpg
50th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 8, 1923 – January 14, 1929
Lieutenant Earl D. Bloom
Charles H. Lewis
Earl D. Bloom
William G. Pickrel
George C. Braden
Preceded by Harry L. Davis
Succeeded by Myers Y. Cooper
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1941
Preceded by Simeon D. Fess
Succeeded by Harold H. Burton
Ohio State Auditor
In office
Preceded by Edward M. Fullington
Succeeded by Joseph T. Tracy
Personal details
Born Alvin Victor Donahey
(1873-07-07)July 7, 1873
Cadwallader, Ohio
Died April 8, 1946(1946-04-08) (aged 72)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting place East Avenue Cemetery, New Philadelphia, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary (Harvey) Donahey (1879–1953)
Relations Gertrude Walton Donahey (daughter-in-law)
William Donahey (brother)
James Harrison "Hal" Donahey (brother)
Children John W. Donahey
  • Businessman
  • Politician

Alvin Victor Donahey (also known as A. Victor Donahey, A. Vic Donahey, Vic Donahey, A. V. Donahey, or Honest Vic Donahey) (July 7, 1873 – April 8, 1946) was a Democratic Party politician from Ohio. Donahey was the 50th Governor of Ohio and a United States Senator from Ohio.

Donahey left school early to become a printer; in addition to working as a newspaper editor, he owned his own printing company. After serving in local and county government as a school board member and county auditor in the early 1900s, in 1912 he won election as Ohio's state auditor, and he served until 1921. After an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1920, in 1922 Donahey won the governorship. He was reelected in 1924 and 1926, and served from 1923 to 1929. In 1934, Donahey won election to the U.S. Senate, and he served one term, 1935 to 1941.

After leaving office, Donahey resumed his business interests, including serving as president of the Donahey Clay Products Company, which made tiles for use in home construction. He died in Columbus in 1946, and was buried at East Avenue Cemetery in New Philadelphia.

Early life[edit]

Donahey was born in Cadwallader, Ohio. His parents were John C. Donahey and Catherine (Chaney) Donahey. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Donahey married Mary Edith Harvey on January 5, 1897. They had twelve children; ten lived to adulthood.


Donahey attended the public schools of Tuscarawas County, and left in his junior year to receive training as a printer; he worked at the New Philadelphia Times from 1893 to 1905, and advanced from journeyman to foreman to associate editor before becoming owner of his own printing company. He served as Tuscarawas County Auditor from 1905 to 1909 while at the same time serving on New Philadelphia, Ohio's Board of Education.[1] After serving as a delegate to the 1912 Constitutional Convention, Donahey served as state auditor from 1912 to 1921.[2] He did not seek re-election in 1920, running instead for governor.

Donahey lost that election but won the position two years later, serving three terms from 1923 to 1929. He did not run for re-election in 1928. Donahey earned the nickname "Veto Vic" while governor because he vetoed seventy-six bills during his first term in office.

From 1926 to 1928 Donahey was mentioned as a possible candidate for president or vice president in the 1928 election.[3][4][5] He received five delegate votes for the presidential nomination which went to Alfred E. Smith, but was not a candidate for the Vice Presidential nomination, which went to Joseph T. Robinson.[6][7]

He won election to the United States Senate in 1934, unseating Republican Simeon Fess by a wide margin (1,276,208 to 839,068) and served one term in the Senate from 1935 until 1941, before retiring. In 1940 Democrats in Ohio asked him to consider running for president as a favorite son in an effort to aid Franklin D. Roosevelt's bid for a third term, but he declined. (The plan would have had Ohio's delegates to the Democratic National Convention pledged to Donahey until Roosevelt became a candidate, at which point Donahey would release the delegates to Roosevelt.)[8]

Donahey was president of Donahey Clay Products Company and a founder and board member of Motorists Mutual Insurance Company. He was also a director of the Ohio National Bank of Columbus, Ohio.

He died at his home in Columbus in 1946. He is buried in East Avenue Cemetery in New Philadelphia, Ohio.[9]

Family life[edit]

Donahey was married to Mary (Harvey) Donahey (1879-1953). His son, John W. Donahey, served a term as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. His daughter-in-law, Gertrude Walton Donahey served as Ohio State Treasurer. His brother William Donahey was the Chicago Tribune columnist and creator of the Teenie Weenies comic strip. Another brother, James Harrison "Hal" Donahey, was the cartoonist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and designed the household tiles made by the Donahey Clay Products Company.


The Donahey Ag & Hort Building at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, is named in honor of Donahey.

Authored books[edit]

  • The Beak and Claw of America. Columbus, Ohio: Vic Donahey. 1931. 


  1. ^ Alvin V Donahey at Ohio History Central
  2. ^ Herman, Jennifer (2002). Ohio Encyclopedia. 1. St. Clair Shores, MI: Somerset Publishers. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-403-09564-3. 
  3. ^ New York Times, Ask Governor Donahey to Be Candidate For Vice President on Ticket With Smith, April 6, 1927
  4. ^ Robert T. Small, Miami Daily News, "Vic" Donahey Booming Self for President, July 11, 1926
  5. ^ New York Times, For Smith and Donahey; Ohio Democrats Boom Their Governor, for Second Place, June 19, 1928
  6. ^ New York Times, The Single Ballot Which Made Gov. Smith Democratic Party's Candidate for President, June 19, 1928
  7. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle, Democratic Convention Adjourns After Nominating New York Governor and Arkansas Senator for President and Vice President, June 29, 1928
  8. ^ Associated Press, Kentucky New Era, Senator Donahey Refuses to Seek Votes for President, February 19, 1940
  9. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-8063-4823-0. 

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