William Jennings Bryan - Former United States Secretary of State, Birthday and Family

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William Jennings Bryan's Personal Details

William Jennings Bryan was a famous American politician

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 19, 1860
Died onJuly 26, 1925
NationalityAmerican
FamousFormer United States Secretary of State, Democrats, Northwestern University, Leaders, Political Leaders
IdeologiesDemocrats
SpousesMary Baird
SiblingsCharles W. Bryan, Mary Bryan Allen
Childrens William Jennings Bryan
Universities
  • Northwestern University
  • Illinois College
  • Northwestern University School of Law
Notable Alumnis
  • Northwestern University
Birth PlaceSalem
Political IdeologyDemocratic
GenderMale
FatherSilas Lillard Bryan
MotherMary Elizabeth Jennings
Sun SignPisces
Born inSalem
Famous asFormer United States Secretary of State
Died at Age65

// Famous Former United States Secretary of State

William Jennings Bryan's photo

Who is William Jennings Bryan?

Deemed as one of the “celebrity politicians” of the 20th century, William Jennings Bryan was a famous American politician during the last decade of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. A first-rate orator, Bryan was also accredited for introducing ‘stumping tour’ in America. All his life, he lived in the glare of publicity and was active in politics till his last breath. Often dubbed as the hero of common man, Bryan was an advocate of laissez-faire and worked every inch towards it. Standing three times as a Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908), he could not win in all his three attempts. Nevertheless, he was appointed the Secretary of State under democratic president, Woodrow Wilson, where he proved his mettle as a decision-maker. He was opposed to Darwin’s theory of evolution and this made him a little unfavorable; he was often criticized for his religious fervor too. He never accepted Darwinism as he considered it a menace on Christianity and democracy. He even propelled an anti-evolution campaign to stop the spread of Darwin’s theory in schools and church. Despite his religious extremism, he never really lost the full support, respect and approval of his followers. He was one of very few politicians of his age who were admired for their persona more than their political stance.

// Famous Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

William was born to Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan and was baptized at the age of 14 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

He was mostly home-schooled and was admitted to Whipple Academy in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1874.

After finishing high school, he attended the Illinois College, from where he graduated in 1881.

He entered the Union College of Law and upon the completion of law studies in 1883, he joined the Illinois State Bar.

He stayed in Illinois and practiced law, before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1887.

Career

In 1890, he won the election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a democratic candidate.

An excellent orator, he always took the lead when it came to delivering speeches. In 1896, when the silver market was on a decline, he addressed the Democratic National Convention, supporting ‘free silver’, which according to him was essential for the prosperity of the nation.

In 1896, he stood in the Presidential election and was (still is) the youngest candidate ever to contest this election, but eventually lost the election.

In 1898, he supported the Spanish-American war, but when the U.S. annexed Philippines, he raised his voice against it. He censured their imperialism, stating that the U.S. should not follow the footsteps of the Great Britain and their colonialism.

He fought the 1900 Presidential election on the plank of anti-imperialism but lost to Republican candidate, William McKinley.

In 1908, he made a third and his last unsuccessful attempt at the Presidential election.

Following his loss at the Presidential elections, he remained busy as a Chautauqua (adult education movement in the U.S.) speaker, perpetuating religious ideologies.

For his ardent support towards Thomas Woodrow Wilson in the presidential election of 1912, he was appointed the Secretary of State in 1913.

He resigned from the office in 1915 and campaigned as a private citizen for Woodrow Wilson the next year.

After his national campaign, the 18th Amendment of United States Constitution, which prohibited production, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages, was passed in 1918.

In 1920, he severely criticized the theory of evolution (Darwin’s theory), stating it as a threat to democracy and Christianity.

He launched an anti-evolution campaign in 1921 and in order to uproot this philosophy he ran for the post of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA but he eventually lost.

In 1925, he participated in the ‘Scopes trial’ in which a high school teacher, John Scopes was found guilty of violating the ‘Butler’s Act’, according to which it was unlawful in Tennessee to teach human evolution. Though the case was initially won by Bryan, the Supreme Court reversed the verdict which led to the acquittal of Scopes.

Major Works

As the Secretary of State, one of his main accomplishments was to get 28 signatories to abstain from hostilities during arbitration of disputes, before World War I.

He was also instrumental in the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty in 1914, which allowed the U.S. to build a canal across Nicaragua and also gave the permission to form naval bases at the Gulf of Fonseca and on the Corn Islands.

During his presidential campaigns, he advocated Free Silver (for the progress of the nation), anti-imperialism (in protest the annexation of Philippines), antitrust law (to maintain market competition).

Towards the end of his political career, he participated in the controversial ‘Scopes’ trial’ in which he denounced Darwinism and the theory of evolution.

Personal Life & Legacy

Bryan married Mary Elizabeth Baird on October 1, 1884 with whom he had three children.

Five days after the ‘Scopes’ trial’, he died in his sleep and was interred at the Arlington National Cemetery, where his tombstone reads "He kept the Faith."

The ‘Bryan County’ in Oklahoma is named after the politician. The Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee is also named after him while his house in Nebraska was declared a historic landmark.

Trivia

This famous American politician was and still is the youngest ever candidate to run for the Presidential election.

This renowned American politician was the first presidential candidate to campaign in a car!

// Famous Alumni of Northwestern University

William Jennings Bryan biography timelines

  • // 19th Mar 1860
    William was born to Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan and was baptized at the age of 14 at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
  • // 1874
    He was mostly home-schooled and was admitted to Whipple Academy in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1874.
  • // 1881
    After finishing high school, he attended the Illinois College, from where he graduated in 1881.
  • // 1883
    He entered the Union College of Law and upon the completion of law studies in 1883, he joined the Illinois State Bar.
  • // 1st Oct 1884
    Bryan married Mary Elizabeth Baird on October 1, 1884 with whom he had three children.
  • // 1887
    He stayed in Illinois and practiced law, before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1887.
  • // 1890
    In 1890, he won the election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a democratic candidate.
  • // 1896
    An excellent orator, he always took the lead when it came to delivering speeches. In 1896, when the silver market was on a decline, he addressed the Democratic National Convention, supporting ‘free silver’, which according to him was essential for the prosperity of the nation.
  • // 1896
    In 1896, he stood in the Presidential election and was (still is) the youngest candidate ever to contest this election, but eventually lost the election.
  • // 1898
    In 1898, he supported the Spanish-American war, but when the U.S. annexed Philippines, he raised his voice against it. He censured their imperialism, stating that the U.S. should not follow the footsteps of the Great Britain and their colonialism.
  • // 1900
    He fought the 1900 Presidential election on the plank of anti-imperialism but lost to Republican candidate, William McKinley.
  • // 1908
    In 1908, he made a third and his last unsuccessful attempt at the Presidential election.
  • // 1912 To 1913
    For his ardent support towards Thomas Woodrow Wilson in the presidential election of 1912, he was appointed the Secretary of State in 1913.
  • // 1914
    He was also instrumental in the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty in 1914, which allowed the U.S. to build a canal across Nicaragua and also gave the permission to form naval bases at the Gulf of Fonseca and on the Corn Islands.
  • // 1915
    He resigned from the office in 1915 and campaigned as a private citizen for Woodrow Wilson the next year.
  • // 1918
    After his national campaign, the 18th Amendment of United States Constitution, which prohibited production, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages, was passed in 1918.
  • // 1920
    In 1920, he severely criticized the theory of evolution (Darwin’s theory), stating it as a threat to democracy and Christianity.
  • // 1921
    He launched an anti-evolution campaign in 1921 and in order to uproot this philosophy he ran for the post of Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA but he eventually lost.
  • // 1925
    In 1925, he participated in the ‘Scopes trial’ in which a high school teacher, John Scopes was found guilty of violating the ‘Butler’s Act’, according to which it was unlawful in Tennessee to teach human evolution. Though the case was initially won by Bryan, the Supreme Court reversed the verdict which led to the acquittal of Scopes.
  • // 26th Jul 1925
    Five days after the ‘Scopes’ trial’, he died in his sleep and was interred at the Arlington National Cemetery, where his tombstone reads "He kept the Faith."

// Famous Political Leaders

William Jennings Bryan's FAQ

  • What is William Jennings Bryan birthday?

    William Jennings Bryan was born at 1860-03-19

  • When was William Jennings Bryan died?

    William Jennings Bryan was died at 1925-07-26

  • Where was William Jennings Bryan died?

    William Jennings Bryan was died in Dayton

  • Which age was William Jennings Bryan died?

    William Jennings Bryan was died at age 65

  • Where is William Jennings Bryan's birth place?

    William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem

  • What is William Jennings Bryan nationalities?

    William Jennings Bryan's nationalities is American

  • What is William Jennings Bryan ideologies?

    William Jennings Bryan's ideologies is Democrats

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan spouses?

    William Jennings Bryan's spouses is Mary Baird

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan siblings?

    William Jennings Bryan's siblings is Charles W. Bryan, Mary Bryan Allen

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan childrens?

    William Jennings Bryan's childrens is William Jennings Bryan

  • What was William Jennings Bryan universities?

    William Jennings Bryan studied at Northwestern University, Illinois College, Northwestern University School of Law

  • What was William Jennings Bryan notable alumnis?

    William Jennings Bryan's notable alumnis is Northwestern University

  • What is William Jennings Bryan's political ideology?

    William Jennings Bryan's political ideology is Democratic

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan's father?

    William Jennings Bryan's father is Silas Lillard Bryan

  • Who is William Jennings Bryan's mother?

    William Jennings Bryan's mother is Mary Elizabeth Jennings

  • What is William Jennings Bryan's sun sign?

    William Jennings Bryan is Pisces

  • How famous is William Jennings Bryan?

    William Jennings Bryan is famouse as Former United States Secretary of State