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John Stanley Rice (January 28, 1899 – August 2, 1985) was a Democratic politician, farmer and businessman from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Rice served in a variety of appointed and elected political roles over the course of a three-decade political career.[8]

John Rice
John S Rice (1964).jpg
John S Rice (1964)
50th United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
May 6, 1961 – May 27, 1964
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Preceded byPhilip Young
Succeeded byWilliam Tyler
Chairman of the
Pennsylvania Democratic Party
In office
July 23, 1959[1] – May 6, 1961
Preceded byJoe Barr
Succeeded byOtis Morse
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In office
June 10, 1958[2] – May 6, 1961
GovernorGeorge Leader
David Lawrence
Preceded byJames Finnegan
Succeeded byJames Trimarchi, Jr.
Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Property and Supplies
In office
December 31, 1955[3] – July 18, 1957[4]
GovernorGeorge Leader
Preceded byWilliam Thomas
Succeeded byKenneth Haldeman
Member of the Pennsylvania
Liquor Control Board
In office
February 8, 1955 – December 31, 1955
Appointed byGeorge Leader
Preceded byNew Appointment
Succeeded byA.D. Cohn
President pro tempore
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
January 3, 1939 – November 30, 1940
Preceded byHarvey Huffman[a]
Succeeded byFrederick Gelder
Democratic Leader
of the Pennsylvania Senate
In office
April 14, 1937[5][6] – November 30, 1938
Preceded byWarren Roberts
Succeeded byJohn Dent
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
January 3, 1933[7] – November 30, 1940
Preceded byCharles Clippinger
Succeeded byPaul Crider
Personal details
Born(1899-01-28)January 28, 1899[8]
Brysonia, Pennsylvania
DiedAugust 2, 1985(1985-08-02) (aged 86)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Luene Rogers Rice
ChildrenEllen Rice
Alma materGettysburg College
OccupationPolitician, farmer, businessman
a.^ Huffman died on the day his term was set to expire, November 30, 1938. Rice immediately succeeded him as Acting President Pro Tempore until he was formally elected to the position when the Senate reconvened the following January.



A native of Brysonia, a small town several miles north of Gettysburg, Rice graduated from Gettysburg College. He became a successful apple grower, and went on to manufacture packaged apple products. He often returned to this business between political appointments.

Political careerEdit

Rice was elected to the State Senate in 1932.[9] He was elected Democratic floor leader in 1937, following the resignation of Warren Roberts, who took office as State Auditor General.[6] He was elected the Senate's President pro tempore in 1939.

In 1946, he was the Democratic nominee for Governor, but lost to Republican State Attorney General James Duff.

Gubernatorial appointmentsEdit

Rice (fourth from right) with President Kennedy and other ambassadors in March 1961

In 1955, Governor George Leader named Rice to the first round of appointments to the overhauled Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. He resigned from the board later that year, when Leader appointed him Secretary of the Department of Property and Supplies (now the Department of General Services).

After resigning from the cabinet in 1957, he returned to his apple farm and packaging business.[4] However, in 1958, Leader again appointed Rice to a position in his cabinet, having him succeed the deceased James Finnegan as Secretary of the Commonwealth.[2] Rice was also elected chair of the State Democratic Party in 1959.

In 1961, Rice received his final political appointment, when President Kennedy named him U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands. He stepped-down from the position three years later.

Death and legacyEdit

Rice died in Fort Lauderdale in August 1985.[8]

Rice Hall, on the campus of Gettysburg College, is named in his honor.[10] He had served as a trustee of the college from 1939 until 1972, when he retired to Fort Lauderdale.[8]


  1. ^ "Mention Rice For Barr Post". The Gettysburg Times. July 9, 1959. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Rice Returns To Place In State Cabinet". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 9, 1958. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "Cohn Succeeds Rice On Liquor Control Board". The Gettysburg Times. December 28, 1955. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Head of State Agency Resigns". The Washington Reporter. August 1, 1957. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  5. ^ Cox, Harold (2004). "Pennsylvania Senate - 1937-1938" (PDF). Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  6. ^ a b "Threat Seen To Milk Bill". The Reading Eagle. April 26, 1937. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Sharon Trostle, ed. (2009). The Pennsylvania Manual (PDF). 119. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. ISBN 0-8182-0334-X.
  8. ^ a b c d "John S. Rice, A Former Envoy". The New York Times. August 4, 1985. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  9. ^ Cox, Harold. "Senate Members R". Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
  10. ^ "Housing Details: Rice Hall". Gettysburg College Residence Life. Gettysburg College. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Philip Young
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
William Tyler
Political offices
Preceded by
James Finnegan
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
James Trimarchi, Jr.
Preceded by
William Thomas
Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Property and Supplies
Succeeded by
William Thomas
Preceded by
New Appointment
Member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Succeeded by
A.D. Cohn
Preceded by
Harvey Huffman
President pro tempore1 of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
Frederick Gelder
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Charles Clippinger
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 33rd District
Succeeded by
Paul Crider
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joe Barr
Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Otis Morse
Preceded by
Warren Roberts
Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate
Succeeded by
John Dent
Preceded by
Clair Ross
Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Richardson Dilworth
Notes and references
1. Acting President from 1938–1939