Underwood, Oscar

Underwood, Oscar (Wilder)

(1862–1929) U.S. representative/senator; born in Louisville, Ky. He practiced law in Birmingham before going to the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem., Ala.; 1897–1915). A brilliant man, destined for higher office, his fight with William Jennings Bryan over tariff reductions in 1911 cost him the critical votes in the 1912 presidential convention. In the U.S. Senate (1915–27) he masterminded wartime appropriations. A second bid for the presidency ended in 1923 when he demanded the Democratic convention denounce the Ku Klux Klan.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.