Wendell Willkie

Wendell Lewis Willkie ( born February 18, 1892 in Elwood, Madison County, Indiana, † October 8, 1944 in New York City ) was a lawyer in the U.S. and in the presidential elections in 1940, the Republican rival candidate of incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Willkie was born as the son of German-born parents in 1892. His grandparents emigrated with his father from Aschersleben in Germany in 1858 in the USA .. After Willkie's return from the First World War he was in Akron, Ohio, a member of the Democratic Party. From 1929 he worked as a legal advisor to the utility company Commonwealth & Southern Corporation (C & S).

After Roosevelt in 1932 was elected President of the United States, he pursued a New Deal -called economic and social policy. Among other things, he founded the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA ), which supply the poor Tennessee Valley with cheaper energy and should protect against flooding. The Authority was a direct competitor of the C & S, whose president Willkie had become 1933. Willkie was an opponent of the New Deal, although he had still actively supported Roosevelt in his campaign in 1932. He spoke in particular against the participation of the government in economic life. In 1933 he succeeded in having the U.S. Senate forbade the construction of transmission lines by the TVA. Roosevelt agreed to the Senate to again; a new law passed equipped the TVA with extensive powers. You received from the Treasury virtually unlimited credit at low interest rates and could in 1939, the C & S buying. Willkie left the same year the party and joined the Republicans.

At the Republican National Convention in June 1940 in Philadelphia, a rival candidate for Roosevelt was sought. Surprisingly, Willkie was able to beat the three favorites Robert Taft, Arthur Vandenberg, and Thomas E. Dewey. Media Magnate as Ogden Reid (New York Herald Tribune) and Roy Howard ( EW Scripps Company) supported him. They secured Willkie broad support in the party base. Later in May, the support was just three percent, but grew up, also as a result of the German attack on France, to the Assembly continues to. Willkie finally able to prevail in the sixth round. Without ever holding any political office, he became a candidate for the presidential election. As his running mate acted Charles L. McNary, U.S. Senator from Oregon.

In the election, Roosevelt could ultimately prevail with 27 to 22 million votes. Willkie now supported him again in a few questions. In 1942, he undertook, with Roosevelt's approval, a political world journey that led him to the USSR and China. In October 1944, he died at the age of 52 after several heart attacks; previously he had been treated as a renewed Republican opponent of Roosevelt in the presidential election this year.

He propagated as the post-war order, the so-called "One World".