McAdoo, William Gibbs

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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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References in periodicals archive ?
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.
"William Gibbs McAdoo and the 1920 Presidential Nomination." East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 31: 43-58.
William Gibbs McAdoo: A Passion for Change 1863-1917.
The Papers of William Gibbs McAdoo, Container 145, File: "Oct.
As Treasury Secretary under Woodrow Wilson, William Gibbs McAdoo influenced the development and passage of the Federal Reserve Act and oversaw its rapid implementation.
The protectionist tariff system, Wilson argued, "cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of the world, violates the just principles of taxation, and makes the government a facile instrument in the hand of private interests." To blunt charges of class warfare, Wilson's Treasury secretary, a wealthy businessman named William Gibbs McAdoo, added his voice, condemning the tariff system as "a general tax on the entire population for the benefit of private industry," the effect of which was to raise consumer prices not only on imports but on domestic products as well.
According to Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo, an ex officio member of the Board:
1916, Box 169, William Gibbs McAdoo Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Warburg to Strong, 23 Nov.
Broesamle, William Gibbs McAdoo: A Passion for Change 1863-1917 (Port Washington, N.Y., 1973), 178-81; Munitions Hearings, 31:10135-47.
In this new work, he describes the influence of five types of New Dealers: the old Wilsonians, William Gibbs McAdoo, Herbert Hoover (an inclusion some may question), and Baruch; businessmen Jesse Jones and Hugh Johnson; lawyers Louis D.
The early Democratic front-runner was William Gibbs McAdoo. Born in Georgia in 1863 and trained as a lawyer he moved to New York in 1892 where he became a successful entrepreneur and the driving force behind the construction of the Hudson tunnels.