Patrick Jay Hurley

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Patrick Jay Hurley

Patrick Jay Hurley

“It’s easy to have people like you. Just like them first.”
Patrick J. Hurley


Patrick Jay Hurley was born in 1883 near Lehigh, Indian Territory. He went to work in the coal mines at the age of eleven and attended school at night. During his teen years he worked as a cowboy in the Muskogee area. In 1901 he worked at Bacone College and graduated in 1905. He received his law degree from George Washington University in 1908 and served as tribal attorney for the Five Civilized Tribes until the United States entered World War I, at which time he resigned and entered military service. In 1919 he married Ruth Wilson, daughter of Admiral Henry B. Wilson, commander of the Atlantic Fleet. Following the war, General Hurley returned to Tulsa and entered private law practice. After moving to New Mexico, General Hurley made three unsuccessful attempts, beginning in 1946, to be elected to the U.S. Senate from New Mexico. President Herbert Hoover said of him. “If I could confer an honorary degree on Major General Patrick J. Hurley, I would say: ‘Courageous and efficient military officer in World War I; able and distinguished Secretary of War in the Hoover Administration; highly placed consultant to Franklin Roosevelt and eminent ambassador to China in the Roosevelt Administration; and a man whose talents are needed in our Country.’ ”

Fun fact

At the age of 15, Patrick Hurley drifted north on various ranch jobs to the area of Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he met a lifelong friend by the name of Will Rogers, who was five years older than Hurley. Rogers taught Hurley all he knew about punching cattle.

Oklahoma connections

Hurley was born near Lehigh, Oklahoma, in 1883.









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