Harold Stassen

Harold Stassen

Infobox Officeholder
name = Harold Edward Stassen

imagesize = 200px

caption = Stassen during World War II
order = 25th Governor of Minnesota
term_start = January 2, 1939
term_end = April 27, 1943
lieutenant = C. Elmer Anderson, Edward John Thye
predecessor = Elmer Austin Benson
successor = Edward John Thye
order2 = Director of the United States Foreign Operations Administration
term_start2 = 1953
term_end2 = 1955
president2 = Dwight D. Eisenhower
primeminister2 =
predecessor2 = N/A (post created)
successor2 = N/A (post abolished)
birth_date= birth date|1907|4|13|mf=y
birth_place= St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
death_date= death date and age|2001|3|4|1907|4|13
death_place= Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
profession=lawyer, politician, candidate
spouse=Esther G. Glewwe

Harold Edward Stassen (April 13, 1907ndash March 4, 2001) was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943 and a later perennial candidate for other offices, most notably and frequently President of the United States.

Biography and political history

Born in West St. Paul, Minnesota, he graduated from high school at age 14 and the University of Minnesota Law School in 1929. He was elected District Attorney of Dakota County in 1930 and 1934, then elected Governor of Minnesota in 1938. He was seen as an "up and comer" after delivering the keynote address at the 1940 Republican National Convention. At that convention, he helped secure the Republican Party (GOP) nomination for Wendell Willkie.

Against the advice of some of his political advisers, Stassen resigned from office in 1943 to serve as an officer in the United States Navy during World War II. Stassen did indeed lose some of his political base while overseas, whereas Republican candidates such as Thomas Dewey had a chance to increase theirs. Stassen was a delegate at the San Francisco Conference that established the United Nations, and president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1953. His attempt to establish big-time college football at the university was unpopular and soon abandoned. From 1953 to 1955 he was the director of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's short-lived Foreign Operations Administration.

Stassen was later best known for being a perennial candidate for the Republican Party nomination for President, seeking it nine times between 1948 and 1992 (1948, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992) but never winning it or, after 1952, even coming close. He did receive votes at the Republican National Convention as late as 1968 when he won two votes for president (one from Minnesota and the other from Ohio).

Stassen also ran for:
* Dakota County District Attorney (he won in 1930 and 1934)
* governor of Minnesota on four occasions (he won on his first three attempts 1938, 1940, 1942),
* governor of Pennsylvania twice,
*United States Senate twice, and
*mayor of Philadelphia once.
* U.S. Representative (He was the Republican nominee against Bruce Vento of Minnesota in 1986).

Stassen's strongest bid for the presidential nomination was in 1948, when he won a series of upset victories in early primaries. Polls showed that he would beat Harry S. Truman if nominated. He lost the nomination to Thomas Dewey, however, who had already lost in the presidential election of 1944 to Franklin D. Roosevelt. There is some sense that Stassen never got over failing to have the chance to reach what he considered his potential.says who

Stassen played a key role in the 1952 Republican contest when he released his delegates to Dwight D. Eisenhower. This helped Eisenhower to defeat Robert Taft on the first ballot. He served in the Eisenhower Administration, filling posts including director of the Mutual Security Administration (foreign aid) and Special Assistant to the President for Disarmament. During this period he held cabinet rank and led a quixotic effort (perhaps covertly encouraged by Eisenhower, who had serious reservations about Richard Nixon's qualifications for the presidency)Fact|date=February 2008 to "dump Nixon" at the 1956 Republican Convention. When he left the Eisenhower Administration in 1958, he became a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania. His defeat in this racendash which was not closendash generally was seen as marking the end of his importance as a political figure, although he became a candidate on many occasions in the ensuing years. Though he maintained a successful law practice in Philadelphia and was a major figure of the World War II and immediate post-war eras, he nonetheless became the subject of jokes, even wearing a toupee in an apparent effort to look younger and hence presumably more electable. The humor was collective, with the 'Stop Stassen' movement often attracting more attention than Stassen's bid for the nomination.

Stassen gained a reputation as a liberal, particularly when, as president of the American Baptist Convention in 1963, he joined Martin Luther King in his march on Washington, D.C.. He was a prime representative of the liberal stream of American Republicanism. Much of his political thought came from his religious beliefs. An active American (or Northern) Baptist, he held important positions in his denomination and in local and national councils of churches. Many remembered him as much as a church figure as a political candidate.

On the death of Happy Chandler, Stassen became the earliest governor of any U.S. state still living. When he died, the title was passed to Charles Poletti, a former governor of New York State. Stassen died in 2001 in Bloomington, Minnesota, aged 93, and is buried at the Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

Electoral history

In popular culture

In the daily cartoon Doonesbury, Stassen was mentioned in the March 10, 1971 strip in which the characters B.D., Mark, and Mike Doonesbury are playing poker. B.D. confidently announces, "My poker has the steady, strong winning power of a Richard Nixon!" To which Mark replies, "That's nothing. My hand has all the steady challenging strength of an Ed Muskie." After a long pause, Mike dejectedly replies, "Harold Stassen."

In "The Simpsons" episode "", Gil makes sunny side up eggs for the kids, and quips that they are "a la Harold Stassen" because they are "always running!" Lisa giggles nervously at the remark (after a pause) and Bart asks her if she understands the reference, to which she replies "kinda".

In Episode #818 of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", "Devil Doll", the character of the Great Vorelli tells his living ventriloquist dummy Hugo, "You'll never win. You'll always lose." To which Crow T. Robot adds, "You're Harold Stassen."

In Harry Turtledove's alternate history book, "", Harold Stassen is Vice-President, and later President of the United States. Also, in Turtledove's Settling Accounts series, Stassen is the Republican candidate in 1944 elections.


* [http://www.mnhs.org/people/governors/gov/gov_27.htm Minnesota Historical Society]

External links

* [http://www.mnhs.org/people/governors/gov/gov_27.htm Minnesota State Historical Society]
* [http://www.booknotes.org/Program/?ProgramID=1023 CSPAN Booknotes Interview, Eisenhower: Turning the World Toward Peace]
* [http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/listofholdingshtml/finding_aids_s.html Papers of Harold Stassen, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library]
* [http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/listofholdingshtml/finding_aids_w.html Records of the White House Office of the Special Assistant for Disarmament (Harold Stassen), Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
before= Elmer Austin Benson
title=Governor of Minnesota
after=Edward John Thye
succession box
before = N/A
title=Director of the United States Foreign Operations Administration
years = 1953–1955
after = N/A
s-ttl|title=President of the University of Pennsylvania
succession box
before= Martin A. Nelson
title=Republican Party nominee for Governor of Minnesota
years=1938 (won), 1940 (won), 1942 (won)
after=Edward John Thye
succession box
before= W. Thatcher Longstreth
title=Republican Party nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia
years=1959 (lost)
after=James T. McDermott
succession box
before= Mary Jane Rachner
title=Republican Party nominee for Representative from Minnesota's 4th congressional district
years=1986 (lost)
after=Ian Maitland

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Harold Stassen — Harold Edward Stassen Mandats 25e gouverneur du Minnesota …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Harold Stassen — während seiner Zeit im Militär Harold Edward Stassen (* 13. April 1907 bei South St. Paul, Minnesota; † 4. März 2001 in Bloomington, Minnesota) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker der Republikanischen Partei. Er war von 1939 bis 1943 der 25.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Harold LeVander — Karl Harold Phillip LeVander (* 10. Oktober 1910 in Swede Home, Polk County, Nebraska; † 30. März 1992 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) war ein US amerikanischer Rechtsanwalt und Politiker der Republikanischen Partei. Von 1967 bis 1971 war er Gouverneur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Stassen, Harold Edward — ▪ 2002       American politician (b. April 13, 1907, West St. Paul, Minn. d. March 4, 2001, Bloomington, Minn.), was the youngest governor of Minnesota, though his early political triumphs were overshadowed by his nine unsuccessful presidential… …   Universalium

  • Stassen — /stas euhn/, n. Harold Edward, born 1907, U.S. politician. * * * …   Universalium

  • Stassen — /stas euhn/, n. Harold Edward, born 1907, U.S. politician …   Useful english dictionary

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