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Thomas E. Watson

American politician

Died when: 66 years 21 days (792 months)
Star Sign: Virgo

 

Thomas E. Watson

Thomas Edward Watson (September 5, 1856 – September 26, 1922) was an American politician, attorney, newspaper editor and writer from Georgia.In the 1890s Watson championed poor farmers as a leader of the Populist Party, articulating an agrarian political viewpoint while attacking business, bankers, railroads, Democratic President Grover Cleveland, and the Democratic Party.

He was the nominee for vice president with Democrat William Jennings Bryan in 1896 on the Populist ticket.Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1890, Watson pushed through legislation mandating Rural Free Delivery, called the "biggest and most expensive endeavor" ever instituted by the U.S. postal service.

Politically, he was a leader on the left in the 1890s, calling on poor whites and poor blacks to unite against the elites.

After 1900, however, he shifted to nativist attacks on blacks and Catholics (and after 1914 on Jews).Two years before his death, he was elected to the United States Senate; however, he died while still in office.


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