Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Edgar Doud Whitcomb (b. 1917), known as Big Ed or Hoosier Eddie by friends and foe alike, the 43rd Governor of Indiana, was born November 6, 1917 in Hayden, Indiana. He was the third child and first son of John Whitcomb, a shop owner, and Louise Doud Whitcomb, a schoolteacher. An outgoing and athletic youth, he lettered in three sports, baseball, football, and basketball.
Upon graduation from high school, Whitcomb enrolled in Purdue University. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1940 and was deployed to the Pacific Theatre. His experiences related to the Battle of the Philippines, in which he was wounded and taken prisoner, later to escape his imprisonment, are told in his first book, Escape from Corregidor, published in 1958. He was discharged from active duty in 1946, though he remained in the reserve military forces for more than two decades thereafter.
Following the war, he attended Indiana University School of Law. Upon graduation and passing of the bar exam in 1954, he set up a law practice in Bloomington, Indiana. He was interested in politics, and mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the offices of United States Representative (1954) and United States Senator (1964). Undeterred, he ran for and was elected to the office of Secretary of State of Indiana in 1966 and then to its governorship in 1968.
At the end of his term as governor, Whitcomb again sought the Republican nomination to the United States Senate, but was defeated by Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar. He then returned to his private practice of law in southern Indiana.
Whitcomb and his wife, Patricia Whitcomb, are now retired in rural southern Indiana. They have three sons and two daughters. A son, Chip Whitcomb, is a friend and confidant of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and worked as a speechwriter and mentor on Quayle's 1988 and 1992 campaigns.
| Preceded by:|
Roger D. Branigan
|Governor of Indiana|| Succeeded by:|
Otis Ray Bowen
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