John William Davis

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Davis, John William

Davis, John William, 1873–1955, American lawyer and public official, b. Clarksburg, W.Va. Admitted (1895) to the bar, he taught (1896–97) at Washington and Lee Univ. and later practiced (1897–1913) in Clarksburg. He served as congressman (1911–13), U.S. solicitor general (1913–18), and ambassador to Great Britain (1918–21). After 1921 he practiced law in New York City. He was nominated for president in 1924 on the 103d ballot, when, after a two-week deadlock at the Democratic convention, the forces of Alfred E. Smith and William Gibbs McAdoo agreed to compromise on a third candidate. Hampered by his legal affiliation with large corporations, Davis, even though he carried the South, won only 136 electoral votes and 8,386,500 popular votes. His speeches are collected in Treaty-making Power in the United States (1920) and Party Government in the United States (1929).


See biography by W. H. Harbaugh (1973).

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Davis, John William

(1873–1955) lawyer, public official; born in Clarksburg, W.Va. He practiced law with his father before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem., W.Va.; 1911–13). In 1913 he joined the Wilson administration as solicitor general and became ambassador to Great Britain in 1918. Davis returned to private practice, served as president of the American Bar Association (1922–24), and in 1924 was the surprise Democratic presidential nominee, winning on the record 103rd ballot of a deadlocked convention. Coolidge beat him by a landslide in the general election. Davis later became a strong supporter of the United Nations. In his last major case, he defended atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was accused of being a security risk.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Artists featured on previous CDs include the Railbenders, 18 Wheeler, Oakhurst, Halden Wofford & the Hi Beams, Zebra Junction, and John William Davis.
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