Patrick J. Hurley was a World War I and World War II decorated veteran and the only Oklahoman ever to be named a member of the President's cabinet. Of Native American origin, he was born in the Choctaw Nation in indian territory in 1883. Hurley attended Indian University, which later became Bacone College. He was admitted to the Bar in 1908, and served as the national attorney for the Choctaw Nation.
Hurley was a captain in the Indian Territory Volunteer Militia from 1902 until 1907, and entered World War I with the Oklahoma National Guard in 1914, with combat service in France. While in combat he received the Silver Star for gallantry in reconnaissance action under heavy enemy fire. Later Hurley negotiated the agreement between the United States American Expeditionary Force and Luxembourg, while serving as judge advocate for the Sixth Army Corps.
In his public life he helped to organize the United States Chamber of Commerce in 1912. In his political career, he served in many different areas, and was a 1924 delegate to the Republican National Convention. From 1929 until 1933 he served as Secretary of War, being the only Oklahoman ever to serve on the Presidential Cabinet. He served as a major general in World War II, with top assignments in both theaters of operations. He died in July 1963.