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Harold Dunbar Cooley (July 26, 1897 – January 15, 1974) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He represented the Fourth Congressional district of North Carolina from 1934 to 1966. Cooley remains the longest-serving Chairman in the history of the United States House Committee on Agriculture.

Harold D. Cooley
Harold D. Cooley.jpg
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
In office
January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953
Preceded byClifford R. Hope
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 4th district
In office
July 7, 1934 – December 30, 1966
Preceded byEdward W. Pou
Succeeded byJim Gardner
Personal details
Born(1897-07-26)July 26, 1897
Nashville, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedJanuary 15, 1974(1974-01-15) (aged 76)
Wilson, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina, Yale University Law School

Cooley was one of the few Southern Congressmen not to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.

He was nearly defeated in 1964 by Republican James Carson Gardner and lost to Gardner in a stunning 13-point upset in 1966.[1]

His home at Nashville, the Bissette-Cooley House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.[2]


  1. ^ OurCampaigns: 1966
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.

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