McAdoo, William Gibbs

McAdoo, William Gibbs

(măk`ədo͞o), 1863–1941, American political leader, U.S. secretary of the treasury (1913–18), b. near Marietta, Ga. The son of a prominent Georgia jurist, McAdoo became a lawyer in Chattanooga, Tenn. After 1892 he practiced in New York City and was president of the Hudson and Manhattan RR Company, which built and operated the railroad tunnels known as the Hudson Tubes. He actively promoted Woodrow WilsonWilson, Woodrow
(Thomas Woodrow Wilson), 1856–1924, 28th President of the United States (1913–21), b. Staunton, Va. Educator

He graduated from Princeton in 1879 and studied law at the Univ. of Virginia.
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 for the presidency in 1912 and was given a cabinet post. In 1914, after the death (1912) of his first wife, he married Eleanor Randolph Wilson, daughter of the president. The Federal Reserve SystemFederal Reserve System,
central banking system of the United States. Established in 1913, it began to operate in Nov., 1914. Its setup, although somewhat altered since its establishment, particularly by the Banking Act of 1935, has remained substantially the same.
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 was begun during McAdoo's administration of the Dept. of the Treasury, and he was its first chairman. He also managed the financing of American participation in World War I and served as director-general of railroads during the period of government operation (1917–19).

After leaving public office, McAdoo returned to law practice in New York City, then moved to Los Angeles. He was prominent as a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1920, and in 1924 the supporters of McAdoo and the adherents of Alfred E. SmithSmith, Alfred Emanuel,
1873–1944, American political leader, b. New York City. Reared in poor surroundings, he had no formal education beyond grade school and took various jobs—including work in the Fulton fish market—to help support his family.
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 balanced each other and forced the choice of a compromise candidate. In 1928 he was unable to halt Smith's nomination. His California delegation at the convention in 1932 was joined with the Texas delegation in support of John N. GarnerGarner, John Nance,
1868–1967, Vice President of the United States (1933–41), b. Red River co., Tex. A lawyer, he served (1898–1902) in the Texas legislature and then (1902) was elected to Congress.
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. When this bloc of voters was shifted to Franklin Delano RooseveltRoosevelt, Franklin Delano
, 1882–1945, 32d President of the United States (1933–45), b. Hyde Park, N.Y. Early Life

Through both his father, James Roosevelt, and his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, he came of old, wealthy families.
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, Roosevelt was nominated. McAdoo later served (1933–39) as senator from California. His autobiography, Crowded Years (1931), ends with his resignation from the cabinet.


See D. B. Craig, Progressives at War: William G. McAdoo and Newton D. Baker, 1863–1941 (2013).

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