Member Biography

Clarence Deshong Bell Sr.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1961       9 Republican
1962       9 Republican
1963       9 Republican
1964       9 Republican
1965       9 Republican
1966       9 Republican
1967       9 Republican
1968       9 Republican
1969       9 Republican
1970       9 Republican
1971       9 Republican
1972       9 Republican
1973       9 Republican
1974       9 Republican
1975       9 Republican
1976       9 Republican
1977       9 Republican
1978       9 Republican
1979       9 Republican
1980       9 Republican
1981       9 Republican
1982       9 Republican
1983       9 Republican
1984       9 Republican
1985       9 Republican
1986       9 Republican
1987       9 Republican
1988       9 Republican
1989       9 Republican
1990       9 Republican
1991       9 Republican
1992       9 Republican
1993       9 Republican
1994       9 Republican
1995       9 Republican
1996       9 Republican
1997       9 Republican
1998       9 Republican
1999       9 Republican
2000       9 Republican
2001       9 Republican
2002       9 Republican

COUNTIES: Chester, Delaware  


02/04/1914 - 07/26/2002

Major General Clarence Deshong Bell, Sr. (R9) Delaware County 1961-1966 (R9) Delaware (Part) County 1967-1972 (R9) Delaware County 1973-1982 (R9) Delaware (Part) County 1983-1992 (R9) Chester and Delaware Counties 1993-2002

Early Life:

Clarence Deshong Bell, Sr., born February 4, 1914, Upland, Delaware County, Pennsylvania; son of Samuel and Belle Hanna Bell; Ferndale High School, 1933; Swarthmore College, B.A., 1935; Harvard Law School, LL.B., 1938, Harvard Law School, J.D., 1970; attended, United States Army Command and General Staff College; battery commander, Pennsylvania National Guard, World War II, 1941-1946;; brigadier general, United States Army Reserve; attorney; elected, Republican Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1955-1960; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1961-2002; married, Mary Isabel James; children, Clarence D. Bell Jr., Mary D. Bell; died, July 26, 2002, while in office of the Senate, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Upland, Delaware County, Pennsylvania; interment, Chester Rural Cemetery, city of Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Enlisted, United States Army, 1935; transferred, United States Army Reserve, commissioned, Second Lieutenant Field Artillery, one of the first units called to active duty, World War II, 1940. He served 62 months during the war after which he remained active with the Army Reserve, organized Delaware County's 446th Military Government Company where he held the rank of lieutenant colonel. Achieved the rank of Brigadier General, United States Army, Major General, Pennsylvania National Guard. Commander of branches of the Upper Darby National Guard, Chester Army Reserve, Philadelphia Army Reserve, assistant commander, Pennsylvania Army National Guard (retired); served 38 years active Army, National Guard, Army Reserve.

Attorney; admission to practice, Delaware County, state, federal court system; member, Masonic bodies, 33rd degree Mason.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Honorary memberships, Pennsylvania Lodge and Delaware County Lodge 27, Fraternal Order of Police; Teamsters Local 312; Transportation Workers Union Local 2013; United Auto Workers; Plumbers Local 690; Carpenters Local 845; Operating Engineers Local 842; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 654; Pennsylvania Coalition of Motorcycles, Ironworkers, AFSCME Council 13.


Department of Veteran Affairs, Jewish War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, B’nai B’rith, Legion of Merit, United States Army, Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal; Pennsylvania Commendation Medal; Eagle Award, National Guard Bureau, Department of Defense Citation; United States Army Ground Forces Citation; Silver Medallion Medal of Merit, from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Distinguished Service Medal from the American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania, award from Amvets Post 118.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1955-1960 not a candidate for reelection 1960. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Delaware County, 1961-1966, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Delaware (Part) County, 1967-1972, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Delaware County, 1973-1982, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Delaware (Part) County, 1983-1992, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 9th district, Chester and Delaware Counties, 1993-2002; committee assignments, Appropriations (Vice-Chairman), Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure (Chairman), Military and Veterans Affairs, Rules and Executive Nominations, State Government, Transportation; Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, 1981-1982; appointed, Local Government Commission, 1965-1966; appointed, Commission on Interstate Cooperation, 1967-1980; appointed, Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, 1975-2002; appointed, Joint Legislative Historical and Museum Commission, 1985-1992; died, while in office of the Senate, July 26, 2002.

 Pennsylvania State House of Representatives Biography: 

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Longest serving public official in Pennsylvania, 1955-2002.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members B"Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1999-2000). Crowell, G.; Secretary, Department of General Services. (Volume 114) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 3-34, 3-41; Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-12.

Obituary published, Delaware County Daily Times (Upper Darby, Pennsylvania) - Sunday, July 28, 2002.

Clarence Deshong Bell (1914-2002) - Find a Grave Memorial