Swanson, Claude

Swanson, Claude (Augustus)

(1862–1939) U.S. representative; born in Swansonville, Va. After his father's business reverses, he worked to earn his college and law school tuition, going to the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem., Va.; 1893–1905) where he championed free rural postal service. As governor of Virginia (1905–10), he advanced public school education. Appointed to the U.S. Senate (1910–33), he became an authority on the navy, attending the General Disarmament Conference in Geneva before becoming secretary of the navy (1933–39).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.