Kennedy, G. Donald (George Donald), 1900-1988

Alternative names
Birth 1900-01-25
Death 1988-03-16

Biographical notes:

Civil engineer, Michigan state highway commissioner, and president of the Portland Cement Company in Chicago.

From the description of G. Donald Kennedy papers, 1928-1968. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34418403

G. Donald Kennedy was a prominent public official. Trained as a civil engineer, Kennedy served as Michigan state highway commissioner, chairman of the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority, and as president of the Chicago-based Portland Cement Company. Kennedy was noted for his interest in the development of the Michigan's highway system. He was also a proponent of the need for constructing a bridge across the straits of Mackinac.

G. Donald Kennedy, civil engineer, was born in South Lyon, Michigan, on January 25, 1900. He graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1917, and from the University of Michigan in 1921 with majors in political science and engineering.

Kennedy was registered as a professional engineer in Michigan and several other states, and had a distinguished career in structural, municipal, and highway engineering. During his career he was employed by Hoad and Decker, consulting engineers of Ann Arbor, and by the cities of Jackson and Pontiac as a municipal engineer. He planned the construction of the municipal airport in Pontiac and became an avid promoter of aviation. From 1933 to 1942 he served the Michigan State Highway Department as business manager, consulting engineer, deputy commissioner, and commissioner. He was Vice-President in Charge of Highway Development for the Automotive Safety Foundation from 1943 to 1949, and closed his career at the Portland Cement Association of Chicago, Illinois, where he was consulting engineer and assistant to the president, vice-president, executive vice-president, and president.

Kennedy also served on many boards and committees and was active in the Democratic Party. He managed the gubernatorial campaigns of Murray D. Van Wagoner and Frank Murphy. Among the positions he held were chairman of the Mackinac Straits Bridge Authority from 1938 to 1944, member of the Michigan Council of Defense during World War II, Vice-Chairman of the National Interregional Highway Committee from 1941 to 1944, President of the American Association of State Highway Officials from 1941 to 1942, member of the Board of Commissioners of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority from 1941 to 1945, member of the Highway Traffic Advisory Committee to the War Department, Consultant to the United States Senate Post-War Planning Committee, and member and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Highway Research Board, National Research Council.

Among the honors received by Kennedy are the George S. Bartlett Award in 1948 for outstanding contribution to highway progress, and the University of Michigan Sesquicentennial Award in 1967. A roadside park near Charlevoix, Michigan, was named in his honor in 1961.

Kennedy died March 16, 1988.

From the guide to the G. Donald Kennedy Papers, 1928-1968, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)


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Constellation Information

Ark ID:


  • Presidents--United States--Election--1936
  • Engineers
  • Bridges--Michigan
  • Political elections--1937
  • Cement
  • Tanks (Military science)
  • Roads
  • traffic engineering
  • Political elections--1941
  • Airports
  • Engineers--Michigan
  • Offices
  • Airports--Michigan
  • Traffic congestion
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Ferries
  • Politics and government--1921-1930
  • Politics and government--1941-1950
  • Boat and ship industry
  • Presidents--Election--1936
  • Aeronautics
  • Roads--Michigan
  • Political elections--1936
  • Traffic engineering--Michigan
  • Quarrying
  • Politics and government--1931-1940
  • Defense industries
  • Bridges


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Pontiac (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Mackinac Bridge (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Mackinaw City (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Saint Ignace (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Mackinac Island (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Mackinac Bridge (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Willow Run Expressway (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Pontiac (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Michigan (as recorded)
  • Cut River Bridge (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Blue Water Bridge (Port Huron, Mich. and Sarnia, Ont.) (as recorded)
  • Detroit (Mich.) (as recorded)