Smith, Al

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Smith, (Alfred Emanuel) Al

(1873–1944) political leader; born in New York City. Leaving school at age 12, he worked for the local Democratic organization and with its help was elected to the state assembly (1903). By 1913 he was assembly speaker, and in 1918 he was elected governor of New York; losing his first reelection bid, he won back the state house for the next three two-year terms; he proved an able administrator and surprisingly liberal and internationalist for someone who had emerged from the Democratic machine. After nearly capturing the 1924 Democratic presidential nomination, he won it in 1928, but, handicapped in part by his Catholicism, lost the election overwhelmingly. After unsuccessfully battling Franklin D. Roosevelt for the 1932 nomination, he came to oppose New Deal policies. He received many honors as a Catholic layman.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
As one of my American political heroes, Al Smith, once commented: "The cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy." The only way a society gets there is with researchers, investigators, and a media that never accepts the status quo.
The papacy long battled European kings who wanted to control the church for nationalistic ends, and when Catholics came to the United States, they were often perceived as agents of a hostile foreign state, charges that derailed the 1928 presidential campaign of Al Smith.
At the Al Smith dinner in 2016, on the eve of the election, Trump turned an occasion for good-natured ribbing into a full-on assault of Hillary Clinton, peppered by dashes of self-pity.
The Al Smith dinner itself has raised millions of dollars for donation.
The first half hour was wide open and then Al Smith was responsible for a seven-minute blitz that shook Balfron.
Golway argues that it was men like Al Smith and Robert Wagner, along with Progressives like Frances Perkins and Robert Moses, who achieved the improbable: a grand coalition of Tammany Democrats and Protestant, Progressive reformers, who together devised a new style of government with an appeal far beyond Tammany's Irish precincts.
Recently, it was the turn of presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to turn sardonic comedians for a night, at the fund-raising Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner for Timothy Cardinal Dolan's bishopric in New York City.
- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during remarks at the Al Smith charity dinner Thursday night in Manhattan.
Calvin Coolidge, Fighting Bob La Follette, Al Smith, and Herbert Hoover had no reason to proclaim "America First" when no one was really agitating against peace.
1924: Known as "the Klanbake," the longest convention in history (16 days) pits the Ku Klux Klan-backed William Gibbs McAdoo against New York's Catholic governor, Al Smith, in Manhattan.