Nye, Gerald Prentice
(1892-1971)
   Born in Wisconsin, Gerald Nye became a journalist in Iowa and then North Dakota, where he acquired two papers, the Fryburg Pioneer in 1919 and the Griggs County Sentinel-Courier in 1920. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1925 when the incumbent died and was then elected in his own right in 1926. A Republican in the progressive mold, Nye was involved in the investigations into the Teapot Dome Scandals and critical of the probusiness policies of the administration of Calvin Coolidge. He was also a strong advocate of aid programs for farmers. However, he was equally critical of some aspects of the New Deal, particularly the National Recovery Administration, which he saw as aiding monopoly, and the National Labor Relations Board, which he saw as too sympathetic toward the Congress of Industrial Organizations.
   From 1934 through 1936, Nye headed a Special Senate Committee investigating the role of munitions manufacturers—labeled “merchants of death”—in initiating U.S. involvement in World War I. The committee encouraged concerns that the United States would once again be dragged into a war that helped secure the passage of the Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936, and 1937. As the threat of war approached, Nye was an outspoken isolationist and a founding member of the America First Committee in 1940. In 1944, he was defeated in the election and retired from politics. He set up a consulting business in Washington, D.C. From 1960 to 1964, he worked for the Federal Housing Administration on housing for the elderly, and from 1964 to 1968 he assisted the Senate Committee on Aging, after which he practiced law.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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