Willkie, Wendell

Willkie, Wendell

(1892–1944) businessman, presidential candidate; born in Elwood, Ind. Trained as a lawyer, he practiced briefly before entering the Army in World War I. An active Democrat, he was delegate to the 1924 national convention. In the 1930s, as president of an Indiana utilities holding company, Commonwealth and Southern Corp., he battled public ownership of that industry under Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. Though not widely known outside the business community, he was recruited as the "dark horse" Republican candidate against Roosevelt in 1940. He lost the election, but tallied the greatest number of popular votes of any Republican to that date. During World War II he supported Roosevelt's Lend-Lease program to Britain, promoted an organization to protect world peace, and fought to improve civil liberties in the U.S.A. In 1942 Roosevelt named him goodwill ambassador to the Middle East, China, and the Soviet Union. His 1943 book One World was a best-seller. In 1944, he was defeated in the presidential primaries, well behind the eventual Republican candidate, Thomas E. Dewey.
Mentioned in ?