Robert E. Hannegan

Robert Emmet Hannegan (* June 30, 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri, † October 6, 1949 ibid ) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He held office from 1944 to 1947 as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 1945 to 1947 and was U.S. Postmaster General in the cabinet of President Harry S. Truman.


After graduating as a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Law School of Saint Louis University in 1925 and 1942 Hannegan practiced as a lawyer in St. Louis.


1933 Hannegan struck a political career. In the Democratic Party of St. Louis, he was next to Senator Joel Bennett Clark of the leading figures. Until 1942 he was chairman of the Democrats in his home town.

He took advantage of its strong position in 1940 to preserve Harry S. Truman political death. Truman, at this time, Senator for the state of Missouri, has been associated with the control of its promoter offense Tom Pendergast and feared for his re-election because his intra-party rivals positioned themselves against Pendergast. With strong support from St. Louis, however, Truman kept his Senate seat; Robert Hannegan had it specially made its influence in Catholic circles law.

Truman retaliated for the support, four years later, when he was plotted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Office of the DNC chairman, but maintained, suggesting in its place Hannegan what Roosevelt accepted. Hannegan turn this strengthened himself, Truman set up as a candidate for the post of Vice President in the 1944 presidential election. Shortly before the Democratic National Convention this year, there was a famous correspondence between Roosevelt and Hannegan, in which the president said he would be happy with either Truman or Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, the choice in attack to take. As Hannegan recited this letter at the convention, suspected Douglas ' trailer that the Chairman had reversed the order of the names mentioned to make it look as if Truman for Roosevelt be the first choice. Later studies revealed, however, that Truman was in the letter actually called in the first place.

Although he was in poor health throughout his tenure as DNC chairman, he sat in the presidential election of 1944 with full force committed to prevent the possible election of the Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey. He made himself strong for a liberal party program and was considered a supporter of unions. Dewey ultimately received 46 percent of the vote.

1945 Hannegan was appointed as successor to Frank C. Walker to the Postmaster General. This was his second public office after he had already been in 1944 head of the IRS from October 1943 until January. The following year he joined after the losses of the Democrats back in congressional elections as chairman of the Democratic National Committee; he used his still existing influence in the party but to also then use for President Truman. Hannegan had large share of Truman's surprising victory in the presidential election in 1948.

After the political career

After he had made in 1947 the office of the Postmaster General Jesse M. Donaldson, Hannegan was together with his business partner Fred Saigh owner of the baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals. A few months after he had sold his share of Saigh, Robert Hannegan died in October 1949 from the effects of heart disease. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis next to his wife Erma.