James Rudolph Garfield: American politician (1865-1950) (1865 - 1950) | Biography
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James Rudolph Garfield
American politician

James Rudolph Garfield

James Rudolph Garfield
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American politician
Was Lawyer Politician
From United States of America
Field Law Politics
Gender male
Birth 17 October 1865, Hiram, USA
Death 24 March 1950, Washington, D.C., USA (aged 84 years)
Star sign Libra
Politics Republican Party
Mother: Lucretia Garfield
Father: James A. Garfield
Siblings: Eliza GarfieldHarry Augustus GarfieldAbram Garfield
Williams College
Columbia Law School
St. Paul's School
The details (from wikipedia)


James Rudolph Garfield (October 17, 1865 – March 24, 1950) was an American politician and lawyer. Garfield was a son of President James A. Garfield and First Lady Lucretia Garfield. He served as Secretary of the Interior during Theodore Roosevelt's administration.

Early life

James R. Garfield (first boy from left) and siblings
Garfield with Theodore Roosevelt

Garfield was born in Hiram, Ohio, the third of seven children born to James Abram and Lucretia Rudolph Garfield. For a year prior to his father's presidency, he studied at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. On July 2, 1881, at the age of 15, he and his 17 year old brother Harry Augustus Garfield witnessed the shooting of their father by disgruntled office-seeker Charles J. Guiteau at the Baltimore and Potomac railroad station in Washington. The President and his sons were waiting for a train en route to Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where young James had been recently accepted, when the shooting took place.

College and early career

Following his father's death on September 19, 1881, he studied at Williams College. He received his A.B. degree in 1885, and then attended Columbia Law School. In 1888, he was admitted to the Ohio bar and established the Cleveland, Ohio-based law firm of Garfield and Garfield, with his brother Harry Augustus Garfield. From 1890 until her death in 1930, he was married to Helen Newell. Their grandson, Newell Garfield, later married Jane Harrison Walker, a granddaughter of President Benjamin Harrison and Harrison's second wife Mary Dimmick Harrison as well as the great-grandniece of James G. Blaine.

Political career

From 1896 to 1899, he served in the Ohio State Senate. He was an influential advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt, serving as a Member of the United States Civil Service Commission from 1902 to 1903. From 1903 to 1907, he served as Commissioner of Corporations at the Department of Commerce and Labor, where he conducted investigations of the meat-packing, petroleum, steel, and railroad industries. From 1907 to 1909, he served in Roosevelt's Cabinet as Secretary of the Interior, where he advocated for the conservation of natural resources. He left this post on March 4, 1909, and returned to his law practice in Cleveland. In 1909, he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Garfield was a contender for the Ohio Republican gubernatorial nomination in the 1910 election but withdrew from the convention when it endorsed the Taft Administration; the convention went on to nominate future president Warren G. Harding in the third round of balloting. During the 1912 presidential election, he was a key supporter of Roosevelt's bid for a third term. In the 1914 election, he made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of Ohio on the Progressive Party ticket.

World War I

Roosevelt selected Garfield as one of eighteen officers (others included: Seth Bullock, Frederick Russell Burnham, and John M. Parker) to raise a volunteer infantry division, Roosevelt's World War I volunteers, for service in France in 1917. The U.S. Congress gave Roosevelt the authority to raise up to four divisions similar to the Rough Riders of 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment and to the British Army 25th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers; however, as Commander-in-chief, President Woodrow Wilson refused to make use of the volunteers and the unit disbanded.

Garfield died in Cleveland, Ohio on March 24, 1950, the last surviving member of Theodore Roosevelt's administration. He had survived his father by 68 1/2 years. He was interred in Mentor Municipal Cemetery in Mentor, Ohio beside his wife Helen.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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