Richard Thurmond Chatham Edit Profile
Chatham was educated in the public schools and at Woodberry Forest School in Orange, Virginia. He attended the University of North Carolina from 1915–1916 and Yale University from 1916–1917, but left college to enter the United States Navy.
He represented North Carolina from 1949 to 1957. He served in the Navy until 1919. In July 1919, Chatham began working for his family's company, Chatham Manufacturing, which was the world's largest manufacturer of blankets.
After serving as treasurer of the company, he became president in 1929 and chairman of the board of directors in 1945. During his presidency, the company experienced considerable growth. From 1942 to 1945, Chatham served in the U.S. Navy with the Bureau of Ordnance and the office of the secretary of the Navy.
Political life With his only previous political experience as a county commissioner in Forsyth County, North Carolina, Chatham was unsuccessful in his 1946 bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress. He was first elected in 1948 and re-elected three more times. Notably, he did not sign the Southern Manifesto in 1956.
As a result, Chatham lost the Democratic Party primary to Ralph James Scott. Later years In 1948, he served on the North Carolina Board of Conservation and Development and was president of the North Carolina Dairymen's Association. In 1919, Chatham married Lucy Hodgin Hanes (1895–1949), daughter of John Wesley Hanes.
While in Congress, he was a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was an advocate of recognition of China and support for the Marshall Plan. Chatham was a trustee of the University of North Carolina and of Woodberry Forest School. President of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
And a member of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Married Lucy Hodgin Hanes, October 29, 1919 (died July 1950).; married second Patricia Firestone Coyner, November 16, 1950. Children: Hugh Gwyn II, Richard Thurmond.