- Barkley, Alben William
- (1877-1956)35th vice president of the United States, 1949-1953. The son of poor tenant farmers, Alben Barkley was born and raised in Kentucky. After schooling in Kentucky, Barkley went to Emory College in Georgia, and then the University of Virginia Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1901 and practiced law in Paducah, Kentucky, where he became prosecuting attorney and then judge of McCracken County Court, from 1909 to 1913. A Democrat and Woodrow Wilson supporter, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1913 and held his seat until he became a U. S. Senator in 1927. He was reelected three times and served as Democratic majority leader in the Senate from 1937 to 1947 and minority leader from 1947 to 1949. A supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1944 Barkley resigned when the president rejected the tax bill he had brokered; Roosevelt backed down and Barkley was reelected majority leader.An effective public speaker and a popular senator acceptable to the South, Barkley ran successfully as vice presidential candidate with Harry S. Truman in 1948, despite his age. Referred to as “Veep,” Barkley supported the treaty that created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, involvement in the Korean War, and the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur. After serving as vice president, he was regarded as too old to be the presidential candidate in 1952, but he was reelected to the Senate and served from 1955 until his death in 1956.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.