Frank R. McNinch

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Frank R. McNinch
Photo of McNinch taking the oath of office
McNinch takes the oath of office, October 1, 1937, administered by Pansy Wiltshire; photo by Harris & Ewing
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
In office
October 1, 1937 – July 25, 1939
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Anning S. Prall
Succeeded by James Lawrence Fly
Chairman, Federal Power Commission
In office
July 19, 1933 – September 30, 1937
Preceded by George Otis Smith
Succeeded by Clyde L. Seavey
Mayor of Charlotte
In office
Preceded by Thomas Leroy Kirkpatrick
Succeeded by John M. Wilson
Personal details
Born Frank Ramsay McNinch
April 27, 1873
Charlotte, North Carolina
Died April 2, 1950 (1950-04-03) (aged 76)
Political party Democratic

Frank Ramsay McNinch (April 27, 1873 – April 2, 1950) was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.[1] He was a political figure who served as the mayor of Charlotte, as chairman of the Federal Power Commission, and as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.[2] In the 1928 presidential election, McNinch, a Democrat, supported Republican Herbert Hoover for president. After he was elected, Hoover appointed McNinch to a seat on the Federal Power Commission, leading to a split in the North Carolina Democratic Party that damaged the political fortunes of new U.S. Sen. Cameron Morrison, a friend of McNinch.[3] He was later appointed FPC chairman by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The controversial 1938 Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio broadcast occurred during his tenure as FCC head. McNinch resigned as FCC chairman on July 25, 1939, due to ill health.[4]

His home, the Frank Ramsay McNinch House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[5]


  1. ^ Prominent People of North Carolina: Brief Biographies of Leading People for Ready Reference Purposes. Asheville, NC: Evening News Pub. Co. 1906. p. 31.
  2. ^ "Commissioners from 1934 to Present". Federal Communications Commission. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  3. ^ "Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina"
  4. ^ "James L. Fly to Become Chairman of FCC". Broadcasting. 17 (3): 11. August 1, 1939.
  5. ^ Richard L. Mattson (July 1990). "Frank Ramsay McNinch House" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-02-01.

Further reading[edit]

  • Flannery, Gerald V. (1995). Commissioners of the FCC, 1927-1994. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. pp. 55–57. ISBN 0-8191-9669-X.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Anning S. Prall
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
Succeeded by
James Lawrence Fly