William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

United States Secretary of State
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William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American orator and politician from Nebraska, and a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served two terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska and was United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1915). He resigned because of his pacifist position on World War I. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a strong advocate of popular democracy, and an enemy of the banks and their gold standard. He demanded "Free Silver" because it undermined the evil "Money Power" and put more cash in the hands of honest people. He was a peace advocate, a supporter of Prohibition, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was perhaps the best-known orator and lecturer of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."

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Date of birth
18 March 1860
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Place of birth
Salem, Illinois, U.S.
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Date of death
26 July 1925
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5' 10½" (179 cm)
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