James P. Pope

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James P. Pope
United States Senator
from Idaho
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1939
Preceded byJohn W. Thomas
Succeeded byD. Worth Clark
Mayor of Boise
In office
April 30, 1929 – February 13, 1933
Preceded byWalter F. Hansen
Succeeded byRoss Cady
Personal details
James Pinckney Pope

(1884-03-31)March 31, 1884
Jonesboro, Louisiana
DiedJanuary 23, 1966(1966-01-23) (aged 81)
Alexandria, Virginia
Resting placeLynnhurst Cemetery
Knoxville, Tennessee.
NationalityUnited States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pauline Ruth Horn
Children2 sons [1]
Alma materLouisiana Industrial
, 1906
University of Chicago,
J.D., 1909

James Pinckney Pope (March 31, 1884 – January 23, 1966) was a Democratic politician from Idaho. He was mayor of Boise for four years and a one-term United States Senator, serving from 1933 to 1939.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Jonesboro, Louisiana, Pope graduated from Louisiana Industrial Institute (now Louisiana Tech University) in Ruston in 1906 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1909 where he became a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. He was admitted to the bar then moved west to Idaho to practice law in Boise, and served as city attorney, assistant attorney general of Idaho, and a member of the board of education of Boise. Pope was mayor of Boise from 1929 to 1933.

United States Senate[edit]

He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1932, defeating Republican incumbent John W. Thomas of Gooding. From 1934-36, Pope was a member of the Nye Committee. In 1938, he was defeated for renomination in the Democratic primary by Congressman D. Worth Clark of Pocatello,[2][3][4] who went on to win the general election.

Pope was a stalwart of the Roosevelt administration and the New Deal,[2][5][6] and it was suggested that Idaho's senior senator William Borah, the dean of the U.S. Senate, felt upstaged at times and had a hand in Pope's loss to the more conservative Clark in the August primary.[4]

U.S. Senate elections in Idaho (Class III): Results 1932
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1932 James P. Pope 103,020 55.6% John W. Thomas 78,325 42.3% Earl A. Oliason Liberty 3,801 2.1%


After Congress[edit]

In 1939, Pope was appointed a director of the Tennessee Valley Authority by President Roosevelt and served in that capacity until 1951. He continued to practice law and serve on several boards in Tennessee after that.[8]

Pope relocated to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1963 and died there at age 81 in 1966.[8] He and his wife, Pauline Ruth Horn Pope (1887–1957),[9] are buried in Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee. They had two sons, Ross P. Pope and George A. Pope.[1]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

  1. ^ a b Hanrahan, Mrs. R.E. (October 27, 1935). "Mrs. Pope, wife of Idaho senator, devotes time to two sons and little to Capitol society affairs". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. p. 7.
  2. ^ a b "New Deal trails in Idaho test as Pope loses". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. August 10, 1938. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Idaho chiefs of new deal uneasy". Bend Bulletin. Oregon. United Press. April 12, 1938. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Dutcher, Rodney (August 19, 1938). "Pope defeat credited to ire of Borah". St. Petersburg Independent. Florida. p. 5A.
  5. ^ "Pope defends federal relief". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. November 28, 1934. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Senator Pope trailing in hot fight". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. August 10, 1938. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Office of the Clerk: Election statistics". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Ex-Idaho Senator Pope dies at 81". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. January 24, 1966. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Senator Pope takes a look at his home state". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. (photo). October 22, 1935. p. 1.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Walter F. Hansen
Mayor of Boise, Idaho
Succeeded by
Ross Cady
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chase A. Clark
Democratic Party nominee, U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
1932 (won)
Succeeded by
D. Worth Clark
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
John W. Thomas
U.S. senator (Class 3) from Idaho
March 4, 1933–January 3, 1939
Served alongside: William E. Borah
Succeeded by
D. Worth Clark