“Three things tell a man: his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes.”
William Jennings Bryan (American Lawyer)
Date of Birth:
March 19, 1860
Date of Death:
July 26, 1925
William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States in 1896, 1900, 1908, a lawyer, and the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. One of the most popular speakers in American history, he was noted for a deep, commanding voice. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, an outspoken supporter of popular democracy, an outspoken critic of banks and railroads, a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a leading figure in the Democratic Party, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, an opponent of Social Darwinism, and one of the most prominent leaders of Populism in late 19th- and early 20th century. Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner." In the intensely fought 1896 election and 1900 election, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. For presidential candidates, Bryan invented the national stumping tour. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats, in cases where corporations are protected, to renounce states rights to fight the trusts and big banks, and embrace populist ideas. President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's handling of the Lusitania crisis in 1915 caused Bryan to resign in protest. He was a strong supporter of Prohibition in the 1920s, but is probably best known for his crusade against Darwinism, which culminated in the Scopes Trial in 1925. Five days after the case was decided, he died in his sleep.