The Honorable Stanley Stroup was born in Somerset County, September 18, 1904, the son of Samuel D. and Blanche N. Stroup. Later moving to Blair County, he graduated from Altoona High School in 1921 and Juniata College in 1925, subsequently earning graduate and post-graduate degrees from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh. After school, he married LaRue “Larry” Kathleen Robinson. Stanley taught school, coached, and served as a principal before committing the better part of his life to legal and political pursuits. He served as president of the Keystone Army and Navy Schools, receiving a commendation from President Roosevelt after training over 20,000 soldiers in radio communications during World War II. In 1947, twenty years after entering the education field, Stanley received an LL.B from Dickinson School of Law. Stan practiced for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1947 through 1954 and was subsequently admitted to local and state bars. Stroup practiced before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court, the courts of Bedford County, and the Interstate Commerce Commission. He served as president of the Bedford bar from 1951 through 1961. Stroup was a major Red Cross fundraiser, an organizer of Bedford’s Memorial Hospital, and a member of its board of trustees and chair of the medical affairs committee. In civic and fraternal circles, Stanley served as president of the Rotary Club, 1951-52, and as general chair of the 1968 Fort Bedford Bicentennial. Senator Stroup became a driving force behind the Bedford Development Council, a member of the Bedford Elks Lodge, the Harrisburg Consistory, Royal Arch, Jaffa Temple, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and Saint John’s United Church of Christ. Stan served in the state House of Representatives from 1950 through 1960 before entering the Senate, 1961 through 1974. He worked tirelessly on the 1967-1968 state constitutional convention, directing the Local Government Committee, and was a member of the General State Authority Commission on Architects and Engineers, the 1966 Committee on Arbitration, and served as chair of the GSA Personnel Committee, 1967-70. A major force in the Republican caucus, Stroup was majority leader from 1965 through 1970, and minority whip, 1971-1972. Senator Stroup served on the GOP Appropriations Committee throughout the Shapp administration, representing a major conservative barrier before Governor Shapp’s spending plans. With Senator Robert Fleming, the two maintained constant opposition to Shapp’s 1971 five-percent income tax proposal, Stroup stressing that the governor’s pet program appeared unconstitutional. He pointed out that the executive’s “vanishing credit provision,” a graduated exemption-deduction based on an increasing number of dependents, “flew in the face of the uniformity clause of our constitution.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld Stroup’s claim of unconstitutionality, relevant to the governor’s graduated income tax proposal, the measure eventually passing as a flat 2.3 percent tax. Stroup opposed the 1971 “big and getting bigger” unemployment compensation bill; supported the 1972 Long Arm Statute, the same session’s drug abuse act, and a measure lowering the voting age to 18, pursuant to (1971) ratification of the 26th Amendment. During debate over abortion legislation, Stroup backed the Oesterling amendment, legalizing abortions in cases of rape and incest. Early in his career the senator supported the consolidation of the Commonwealth’s 2,500 school districts into 501, the 1961 “Prevailing Wage Law,” the Lobbyist Registration Act of 1961, Project 70, the County Records Act, and the 1963 Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Act of 1963. Stroup lived only three years after his resignation from the 1974 campaign, passing away on March 1, 1977. Governor Shafer expressed deep sympathy at Stroup’s death, for “one of my very, very good friends … a tragic loss” to the state. Governor Shapp recalled his “keen sense of commitment and understanding” and the high esteem he garnered in the state capital. President pro tempore Martin Murray described Stroup as a man “who put principle above partisanship.”
1965-1966 Pennsylvania Manual, 126; Bedford Gazette, March 2, 1977; Journal of the 1967-68 Pennsylvania Constitution, 70; Bedford Gazette, March 3, 1977.