US Congressman. He graduated from Emory and Henry College in 1931 and became a high school and college Teacher and Coach. From 1933 to 1935 he was Head Coach at Keyser's Potomac State College. From 1935 to 1936 he did graduate work at Duke University, and in 1936 Staggers was elected Mineral County Sheriff, serving from 1937 to 1941. From 1941 to 1942 he was a Right-of-Way Agent for West Virginia's State Road Commission. In 1942 Staggers was appointed West Virginia Director for the US Office of Government Reports, later renamed the Office of War Information. Later that year he entered the Navy's aviation branch for World War II, becoming a Navigator, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters, and attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander before his 1946 discharge. In 1948 he was elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat. He served 16 terms, 1949 to 1981, and was Chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce from 1965 to 1981. His signature achievement was 1980's Staggers Rail Act, which deregulated freight lines and enabled carriers to negotiate private contracts for the transport of goods. At the completion of his final term, Staggers retired to Keyser, where he resided until his death at Cumberland, Maryland's Sacred Heart Hospital. The federal building in Morgantown, West Virginia was named for him. His children included Harley O. Staggers, Jr. (born 1951), who served in the US House from 1983 to 1993, and Dr. Margaret Staggers (born 1945), who was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2006.
Bio by: Bill McKern
Mary Veronica Casey Staggers