John Dalton
John N. Dalton (VA).jpg
63rd Governor of Virginia
In office
January 14, 1978 – January 16, 1982
LieutenantChuck Robb
Preceded byMills Godwin
Succeeded byChuck Robb
32nd Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 12, 1974 – January 14, 1978
GovernorMills Godwin
Preceded byHenry Howell
Succeeded byChuck Robb
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 37th district
In office
January 10, 1973 – December 4, 1973
Preceded byJames Turk
Succeeded byMadison Marye
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 6th district
In office
January 12, 1966 – January 10, 1973
Preceded byKenneth Devore
Succeeded byWard Teel
Personal details
John Clay Nichols

(1931-07-11)July 11, 1931
Emporia, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJuly 30, 1986(1986-07-30) (aged 55)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Eddy Panzer
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1954–1956
RankFirst lieutenant

John Nichols Dalton (July 11, 1931 – July 30, 1986) was an American politician who served as the 63rd governor of Virginia, from 1978 to 1982. Dalton won the office with 55.9% of the vote, defeating Democrat Henry E. Howell Jr. and Independent Alan R. Ogden. Dalton had previously served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.[citation needed]


Dalton in 1981
Dalton in 1981

Born in Emporia, Virginia, Dalton graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the University of Virginia Law School. He served in both houses of the General Assembly (Virginia House of Delegates, 1966–1972, Senate of Virginia, 1973). Dalton was the 32nd Lieutenant Governor from 1974 to 1978. As governor, he pursued policies of limited government. He also settled the federal lawsuit on the desegregation of Virginia's institutions of higher education.[citation needed]

Dalton as lieutenant governor.
Dalton as lieutenant governor.

Dalton was the adopted son of Theodore Roosevelt Dalton, his uncle, who was the Republican candidate for governor in 1953 and 1957. As a young man his next-door neighbor was Charlotte Giesen, first Republican woman elected to the House of Delegates.[1] Dalton died at 55 of lung cancer.[2] He is buried at Sunrise Burial Park in Radford.[citation needed]

His personal papers, including those from his time as governor, are held by the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William & Mary.[3] His executive papers from his time as governor are held by the Library of Virginia. Dalton Intermediate School, in Radford, Virginia, is named after the former governor. Dalton Hall, a building at Radford University that houses dining facilities, and the university bookstore is named for Dalton.[citation needed]

Dalton's son-in-law, Steve Baril, sought the 2005 Republican nomination for attorney general of Virginia.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Frank B. Atkinson (21 July 2006). The Dynamic Dominion: Realignment and the Rise of Two-Party Competition in Virginia, 1945–1980. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-0-7425-7753-4.
  2. ^ Click, Carolyn (July 30, 1986). "Former Virginia Gov. Dalton dead at 55". United Press International. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "John Dalton Papers". Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William & Mary. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
Political offices Preceded byHenry Howell Lieutenant Governor of Virginia 1974–1978 Succeeded byChuck Robb Preceded byMills Godwin Governor of Virginia 1978–1982 Party political offices Preceded byMills Godwin Republican nominee Governor of Virginia 1977 Succeeded byMarshall Coleman Preceded byRichard A. Snelling Chair of the Republican Governors Association 1980–1981 Succeeded byJames R. Thompson