J. Irving Whalley

John Irving Whalley (September 14, 1902 – March 8, 1980) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Irving Whalley
J. Irving Whalley.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byIvor Fenton
Succeeded byJohn Saylor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th district
In office
November 8, 1960 – January 3, 1963
Preceded byDouglas Elliott
Succeeded byRobert Corbett
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 36th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – August 18, 1960[1]
Preceded byFred Hare
Succeeded byStanley Stroup
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the Somerset County district
In office
January 1, 1951 – November 30, 1954
Personal details
Born(1902-09-14)September 14, 1902
Barnesboro, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 8, 1980(1980-03-08) (aged 77)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Political partyRepublican
OccupationMechanic, Salesman, Businessman

Early life and business activitiesEdit

J. Irving Whalley was born in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania to Isabella (née Ashurst) and James H. Whalley, both English immigrants.[2][3] He took his first job at age 10 in a Windber, Pennsylvania, grocery store. By age 14 he was working at the local Ford garage.

Twelve years later he owned the dealership, after having worked as a mechanic, salesman, bookkeeper, delivery man and driving instructor. Whalley purchased a second dealership three years later, and would open or acquire 11 more before World War II. He eventually established a chain of 13 automobile dealerships in central and western Pennsylvania.

Public serviceEdit

Whalley campaigned on issues related to the automotive industry. He fought against taxes that were considered unfair to new car buyers. Whalley also secured support for improvements to the Pennsylvania turnpike and campaigned for better highways everywhere.

He was a member of advisory board of Johnstown College branch of the University of Pittsburgh. He was chairman of the Somerset County Redevelopment Authority and the Windber Planning Commission. He served as a member of the Windber School Board from 1935 to 1947. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, representing one of Somerset County's at-large seats, from 1951 to 1954. He also served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1955 to 1960, representing the 36th district. He was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve as delegate to United Nations for the 1969 session.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

He was elected as a Republican to the Eighty-sixth Congress, originally by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Doug Elliott. He was subsequently reelected to the five succeeding Congresses. He retired in 1972.[4]

The following year, Whalley was accused of taking staff salary kickbacks, but said the money was used for office purposes only. He pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice, was fined $11,000 and served three years probation.[5]


He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1981. Whalley died at the age of 77 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Johnstown.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Cox, Harold. "Pennsylvania Senate- 1959-1960" (PDF). Pennsylvania State Legislature: Members, Districts and Party Affiliations by Session, 1790 - 2004. Wiles University. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950", FamilySearch, retrieved April 3, 2018
  3. ^ "United States Census, 1910", FamilySearch, retrieved April 3, 2018
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Ex‐Rep. Whalley Put On Probation". New York Times. October 16, 1973. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district

Succeeded by
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 36th District
Succeeded by