HERBERT, THOMAS JOHN (28 Oct. 1894-26 Oct. 1974), 56th governor of Ohio, member of the Ohio State Supreme Court, and state attorney general, was born in Cleveland to John T. and Jane A. Jones Herbert. He received his A.B. from Western Reserve University (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) in 1915, but had to drop out of law school after 1 year because of lack of money. He became a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Air Service during WORLD WAR I, shooting down 1 German plane and being himself shot down, receiving both the U.S. and British Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.
Returning to WRU's law school, Herbert graduated, was admitted to the Ohio bar, and was appointed assistant law director in Cleveland in 1920. He served as assistant county prosecutor (1923-24); was appointed assistant state attorney general in 1928; and in 1933 became special counsel to the state attorney general in Union Trust Co.'s liquidation. In 1938, Herbert was elected Ohio attorney general for the first of 3 terms. Herbert defeated FRANK LAUSCHE for governor in 1946, but lost to Lausche in 1948, losing the Republican primary for governor in 1952. In 1953, Pres. Eisenhower appointed Herbert chairman of the Subversive Activities Control Board in Washington, D.C. In 1956, Herbert won election to the Ohio Supreme Court, but a severe stroke prevented his seeking reelection.
Herbert married Jeannette Helen Judson (d. Dec. 1945) in 1919, and the couple had four children: Thomas, Metta, Daniel, and John. Herbert's son John would follow him into public service, and was elected as the Treasurer of Ohio; an office he held from 1963 to 1971. Herbert's daughter, Metta Herbert Stevers, served as the First Lady of Ohio until her father married Mildred Helen Stevenson in 1948. The couple had one daughter, Rosemary.