Ed Whitcomb, '50
J.D., '50; Former Governor, State of Indiana
Dean Gary Roberts and former House Speaker Paul Mannweiler, ’76, traveled to Rome, Indiana in 2012 to visit with former Governor Edgar Whitcomb, ’50.
“He’s a colorful guy with lots of great stories to tell,” Dean Roberts said. The former governor and Mannweiler traded stories about their political friends. Mannweiler is a partner with Bose McKinney & Evans and is a principal of Bose Public Affairs Group.
The home Whitcomb lives in overlooks the Ohio River, and he can see the old Perry County Courthouse from his front door. The courthouse is likely not the busiest place in town, as Rome has a population of about 35 people. The former governor, now age 95, is likely the reason for the bulk of the town’s visitors, as he entertains guests frequently, the dean said.
Whitcomb was a student at Indiana University when World War II began, and he left his studies to serve in the U.S. Army. He returned to IU after the war and earned his law degree. Whitcomb practiced law in North Vernon, Seymour, and Indianapolis before running for office. He was Indiana’s governor from 1969 to 1973. After leaving office, he served as director of Mid American World Trade Association and resumed his law practice. Whitcomb moved to Perry County when he retired.
Stories of Whitcomb moving there and living in a cabin with no heat are true, the dean said, adding that Whitcomb cut his own firewood. He moved to the house in town a few years ago. Whitcomb took up sailing in his 70s, and sailed around the world. Whitcomb has written three books. He wrote two books about his World War II experiences – he was captured by the Japanese in the Battle of the Philippines but was able to escape. His third book is about his sailing adventures.“We had a fascinating day,” Dean Roberts said.